Thursday, January 29, 2015

In The Mood

Is it just me, or do these crisp, sunny, winter days put you in the mood to clean too?

There is just something about them that makes me want to raise my blinds and Windex the glass till it sparkles.

Once I was in the most beautiful home.  Not the fanciest I'd ever walked into, but definitely one of the most peaceful and beautiful.  There were no luxury bells and whistles about her home, but it was truly beautiful.

We spent a good amount of time in her kitchen, and I always remember how warm and welcoming her space was.  And I remember her windows.  The blinds were raised and the glass in her windows shined and glimmered.

She told me she used plain old Windex and paper towels to shine them up like that.

She gave me a tour of her home and I'll never forget her guest bedroom.  The walls were painted an aqua turquoise color.  Picture the blue waters of the Caribbean and that was the color on her walls.  The two windows in the simply decorated room were open and the sheer window panels were blowing in the gentle evening breeze.

It was so beautiful and relaxing.

I always think about her home when I raise my blinds and Windex my glass. 

It is such a simple and quick thing and yet it always makes the house feel so clean and pretty.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stay Here

I've always got some new idea brewing in the ol' hopper.

Us dreamer/creator types are funny like that.

Just this morning I was daydreaming about my next venture I've been thinking on.  I was feeling like I was ready to pounce on it and move forward.  That is, until I opened my Bible to my reading today, and these words caught my eyes.

You did not lack anything, did you?

It is enough.

I hate to be the burster of bubbles, but sometimes God tells us to stay put.  That where we are right now is enough.  That right here, today, we are exactly in the circle of His Desires for us.

It can be so tempting to jump on the hamster wheel and start spinning our wheels endlessly.  The promise of more this or more that can lure us in.

I only want to take opportunities that are mine.  I want to faithfully stay when He asks me to stay and likewise, I want to faithfully say yes when He says to move into the new.

This year He has called me to stay put.  Until March, I believe He has asked me to refrain from any type of commitments.  It has been hard a couple of times, especially when I get excited about some new opportunity, and yet in His Faithfulness He reminds me that being right where He has placed me is enough.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tough Pill To Swallow

Saturday I donned my best daytime casual outfit.

Sam's Club jeggings and my plaid shirt from Targe'.

My mission was to go into the high end teeny bopper jeans store and try on everything under the sun.

After getting stuck in most of it, I left empty handed.

Walking to my mini-van, the one with the finger smudged tiny handprints on the windows, I realized something.

You'd think I'd have known it by now, what with all the kids running around and all, but catching my reflection in the hand printed glass, I realized it loud and clear.

I am a mother.

The kind who wants mom jeans that don't look like mom jeans and I want comfortable things that don't evoke images of streusel topped blueberry muffins.  Is it too much to ask to give me a pair of jeans that come up to my rib cage?  And I'm in no mood to fool with Spanx. 

About the mom thing.  I was starting to have my suspicions.  Earlier this year I was meeting a friend at the coffee shop.  When I arrived, I found an open set of chairs, claimed our spots and settled in for a little light reading before my friend showed up.

I whipped out my Christian Homemaker's Handbook and set to reading about smart routines for cleaning a home.  I barely made it through the first paragraph before I began feeling incredibly uncool and uncomfortable with my reading choice.  It's just that all the young college kids were there and I still think I'm 23 but my Homemaker Handbook was giving me away.  I discretely tucked it back into my bag and started scrolling Facebook on my phone.  A much hipper, trendier way to spend my time at the coffee shop.  I think it helped distract from my velour.

I am sorry to say that two times I have tried to bust out a homemaking book at the coffee shop.  Why does all this nonsense go back to my jeans?  Because there is no getting around it.  I'm getting older.  You already know my increasing propensity to choose pie for dessert every single time.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoy using a pencil these days.  And now the jeans business.  It's all just kind of hard to take in.

You do have my solemn promise that though I may eye the elastic waisted Kim Rogers pant every cotton picking time, they are only eye candy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What Did I Keep?

My first Stitch Fix arrived this week and oh what a fun experience it was!

It definitely accomplished my biggest goal.  It got me to try on pieces I never would have chosen at the store.

Choosing what to keep was hard for me.  I adored the pair of trouser jeans they sent me.  The problem was, they were a little too big.  I loved them so much and wore them around the house for over an hour, but in the end, I kept having to pull them up and they were just a little saggy looking. 

The jeans did confirm something for me though.  They were a nice pair of jeans and they felt AMAZING.  Oh my stars, they were so comfortable.  They also showed me that trouser jeans are a missing link in my 40 hanger closet.  It was eye opening to see how many outfits I could create from that one pair of dressier jeans.  They were a lightweight denim suitable for year round wear.  They looked cute with sandals, heels and flats.

Then there was the blue shirt.  Oh how I loved the blue shirt.  It was pretty and comfortable, BUT.  It made me feel like a Southern Baptist version of Madonna and in the end I just didn't feel like I could pull it off.

Why oh why must I be cursed with such conservative pearl prone tendencies?

It was super cute but I just could not bring myself to do the buttons, and for the bigger price tag, it needed to be a perfect fit for me.  It was $68 and that is why I just couldn't keep it.  Sadness :(.  Isn't it the cutest though?  If it would have been more affordable, I TOTALLY would have kept it.  The cut/style/color were good, so I will keep an eye out for things along these lines.  Please tell me there are other pretty shirts in the sea.

This is the piece I ended up keeping.  The Laila Jayde Dolman (mine is a charcoal grey color).  This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for.  It is perfect because the fabric felt so good.  It is a simple and versatile piece that is not going to go out of style next year.  It looked good with black pants, jeans and my white linen pants.  Scarves and jewelry will transform the look of this shirt. That is what I call a perfect addition to the closet.  Win Win Win.

It was helpful to be able to try on in my own home.  Don't you just hate it when you try on clothes in the store, get home, take a look in the mirror, and realize it looks all wrong in real life?  Being able to try on at home allowed me to sit on my couch wearing the clothes.  It allowed me to pair my shirts and shoes with the items to see how they fit into my current wardrobe.

Three of the five pieces they sent, I loved.  Only one was a perfect fit, so that is what I went with.  In my notes to my stylist, I asked them to please send another shirt and pair of jeans like the ones I sent back.  My next fix will come in a month because I asked for another pair of jeans to try.  I'll keep you posted.

Here is a link to my referral if you are interested in trying a Fix for yourself.

And I want to give a shout out to all my fun Facebook friends.  Man, y'all are so much fun!  Now, let's get back to talking about food, shall we?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Delicious Luncheon

Today we had a Heidi inspired lunch together.  Toasted cheese and milk.

We buttered thick slices of freshly cut French bread, topped each piece with mounds of sharp cheddar, and toasted it until the cheese was all golden brown.

We served it up with milk just like they did in the book.

You wanna talk about a little slice of heaven.  There was barely any talking around the table as we enjoyed the heck out of our delicious little luncheon.

I'm working on a little something.  This morning as I was working on our menu for the week I got to thinking...every week I reinvent the wheel.  I basically cook the same things over and over and yet every week I stare at my blank shopping list having to wrack my brain to decide what should be placed on the menu for the week.

Still not sure what I'm going to do about this, but I am starting with a plain list of our favorite dishes.  It makes all the sense in the world that I'd put together some master lists so that planning doesn't take me so long.

I know.  Sometimes I'm even blown away at the sheer genius.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Noodle Soup-Crockpot Style

I'm hesistant to show you my unedited shoddy looking pictures snapped from my camera phone, but I promise you this dinner was a huge hit all around.

Yesterday after we got the lunch dishes cleaned up I started thinking about what we should have for dinner.  After assessing what I had on hand, I decided to try making a chicken noodle soup in the crockpot.

After spraying the crockpot with Pam, I tossed in 4 frozen chicken breasts.  I diced celery and carrot and dumped it on top of the chicken.  If I would've had an onion, I would have diced that as well.  I used onion powder to give it the flavor instead.  I sprinkled salt, pepper and onion powder, threw in some bay leaves and filled to the top of the mixture with chicken broth (about 8 cups).

About 30 minutes before we were ready to eat I pulled out the chicken and removed the bay leaves.  I had thin spaghetti noodles on hand, so I broke the noodles into small pieces and tossed them into the soup.  Any kind of noodle would work.  I think egg noodles or bowtie pasta would be amazing.  Using two forks I shredded the chicken and returned it to the crockpot.  Then I poured a little heavy whipping cream into the soup to thicken the sauce a bit.  So wrong yet so right.

These boys tore this up.  All you could hear was the sound of spoons clanking against bowls.  This is a successful dinner that is making its way into our family cookbook.  It was super quick and easy to throw together and was big on flavor!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Habit Training

Habit training is a big part of the Charlotte Mason focus.  Establishing strong habits and developing the habit of giving full attention are two biggies.

Habits are nothing more than your usual behavior.  It is auto-pilot for you.  Consistent routine reinforces the habit.  That goes for the good and the bad.

There are some deep engrained habits I've established.  They are so much a part of who I am and what I do that I don't even question the order of what to do next.  But then there is the task of training the little people in habits of neatness and excellence.  They'd be content to be sloppy and lazy.  I don't mean that in a harsh way, I'm just saying their natural bent would be to live with messes and play video games all day if left to their own devices.

It is my job to shepherd them and to move them into habits of excellence.  My struggle in leading comes with my inconsistency.  My problem also comes with landing on one path and sticking to it.  Squirrel!!!!

Here is a peek into some bad morning habits at our house.

Starting the day off on the wrong foot like this just messes with it all. 

This page is a simple list of morning chores to get the boys off on the right foot.

We are working on establishing habits of excellence.  Anyone can be sloppy and lazy.  That is our natural bent but that is not what I want to pass on to my children.  I want us to be hard workers who are trustworthy and can be counted on.  My prayer is that we will live in an orderly way that is honoring to God.

We are in our third week of school after the holiday.  Slowly, we are taking bite sized pieces of the puzzle and reinforcing the good.

The goal is progress, and though it comes slowly, it is being made. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


We push our chairs back and begin clearing the table.  Some of us wipe counters.  Some scrub plates and fill the dishwasher.  We sweep up the crumbs and restore the order in the kitchen for the morning when the next batch of meals will be served up.

Counters shining from being wiped down, we turn off all the kitchen lights except for the one above the sink and the one above the stove.

The kids head for pj's and teeth brushing and we all gather into the living room for read aloud time.  We make sure all the exits are blocked off by pillows and ottoman's so the baby doesn't escape.  If it's cold we turn on the fireplace.  You probably know me well enough to know that the lamps in the living room are all on and of course, the candle is flaming bright.  We all settle into our spots for the night, covered snugly under our favorite blankets.

This week we have been in the Swiss Alps.  We've shared lunches of toasted cheese, fresh bread and milk.  We've gone to the pastures in the warm summertime afternoons and seen the array of flowers covering the mountains.

"And as they wandered up the mountain path, the sound of the church bells floated upward from the valley, clear and sweet in the evening stillness; the scent of grass and flowers rose from the dewy earth, and the last rosy colors of the setting sun lingered on the far snow-clad peaks until they had entered the Alm-hut together."

And Peter.  Peter is one of our favorite new friends.  We laugh, even the next day, as we retell our favorite mess he got into the night before we still laugh, maybe even harder the second time.

This is the power of the shared story.  Reading together before bed is one of the most valuable things we do together as a family.  It has a similar effect of taking a vacation together.  The shared experiences and memories all weave together to strengthen the fabric of family.

"At last the sun shone once more, but it sank early behind the glistening mountain peaks, as if it did not take so much joy in this white, frozen world as it did in the blooming summer.  Then the moon rose, round and full, turning the snowfields into sheets of bright silver; and in the morning the mountains glittered as if they had been strewn with diamond dust."
Johanna Spyri

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Stitch Fix Experience

Oh boy.  My 40 hanger closet.

I'll put it like this.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  No worries, help is on the way.

I've got some problems:
  • I have 5 pairs of black pants.  Cinco.  What in heavens name?
  • I have 7 striped shirts.  I can't even count that high in another language but come on. 
  • I yard sale'd my black dress shoes and when black pantalones make up half of your 40 hanger closet you really don't need to be prancing around town in your pewter flats.  A pair of black flats moved to the top of my fashion list because it was just getting awkward. 

Here is something really cool I've realized.  I can break my wardrobe needs down into three basic categories.
  • Cute & Casual   (shopping/church/date/Friday night with friends)
  • Everyday Comfortable (working around house/grocery store/errands)
  • Special Occasion  (date night, wedding, funeral)
Your lifestyle is the biggest influencing factor in what type of clothes should be in the closet.

My dear friend Tiff shared something with me called Stitch Fix.  Do you know about it?  I wanted to share with you everything about my Stitch Fix experience so far.

Well for starters right now I am sitting here in my granny gown drinking sweet tea and talking to you.  Meanwhile, somewhere out there a personal stylist is shopping for mwah.  No I didn't just blow you a kiss, that was an attempt at French.  Please.  I don't know what is up with all the foreign language talk tonight.  Let's just go with it, wee wee?

How much have I had to shell out?
So far $20.  In a week or so, I'll be receiving a box in the mail (if you are a burglar reading don't you dare try to steal my box containing non-stripey paraphernalia) The box will contain 5 items.  I can keep whatever I want and the $20 is applied to the items I purchase.  If nothing works it can all be returned and I'd loose the $20.

Is it expensive?
That is a good question.  They say the average item is $55.  Personally, I'd never pay $55 for an item of clothing unless it was a fantastic pair of jeans that was comfortable and made me look exotically skinny.  I can't even pay $38 for a shirt in the store.  My clothing budget is small.  As in $20 a month or less small.  So then how am I going to fund my little experiment then?  It is called the consignment shop.  Today I picked up $100 from clothes that I dropped off.  Now I have funds to reinvest into current things that look good now.

How do they know what I like?
That is part of the fun of it.  When you sign up with Stitch Fix you fill out a Style Profile.  They ask you all kinds of questions.  Things like:  What kind of coverage do you prefer?  Do you like ankle length, regular or long?  Here are some pictures, rate them based on how much you like them.  What are your sizes and measurements.  If you have a Pinterest fashion board you can link it to your Style Profile so that your stylist can get a better feel for your taste.

You can leave a note for your stylist.  Here is what my note to my stylist said...

{Apple shaped body. Looking for pieces that can easily be mixed/matched. Our clothing budget is pretty small.  Recently I paired down my closet to 40 items.  I noticed I have 5 pairs of black pants and 7 striped shirts-oops!  Want cute everyday things that can also be worn to Bible study and dinner :).}
My friend Tiffny brought her box over tonight and modeled her new duds and OH MY WORD she looked like a doll.   They nailed it for her. 
Why am I trying Stitch Fix?
I want someone else who does not have striped shirt bondage to show me some cute things.  You know how it is.  We like what we like and our eyes don't even see the other stuff in the store.
My goal is to maximize my 40 hanger closet.  If this Fix goes well, then they will ship me another box in 3 months.  (you can get them to ship more or less and you can cancel at any time).  SO.  If I even choose 1 or 2 items every few months then my basic core wardrobe will stay fresh and cute.
If they send me things as cute as Tiff's, then I'm going to be so happy I'll probably have to celebrate with ice cream or something.  Of course that's what got me looking like the apple dumpling that I am, so maybe I'll just stick to a happy clap.  Naw, who am I kidding?  I'll have ice cream. I'll spread my birthday and Christmas money out.  I'll fill my envelope with my $20 each month.  And I'll keep consigning like a boss.  Today I picked up my consignment check and am using it to reinvest in my Fix
After working in fashion for 8 years I have learned something.  It DOES NOT HAVE TO COST A MILLION BUCKS TO LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS.  Now I'm not saying I look like a million bucks.  Sheesh.  I've been wearing pewter shoes with black pants in public.  But I am a big believer in having some basic pieces that can be filled in with the cute/fun/trendy.
Let me know if you try Stitch Fix!  If you use my referral I get $25.  If you try it and like it let your buddies know and you'll get referral credit which is so neat.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Truth About Teaching Reading

I suppose each teacher comes to the table with strengths and weaknesses.  The reading book told me it would be a joy to teach the wee one to read.

Pish Posh.

It has been painful for me to sit through labored reading lessons oh my heavens painful I tell you.

Even though it makes me want to stab my eyeballs out I do it but oh my.  It is a labor of love I tell you.

(why on earth can't I get this picture to post right side up?)

I don't mind telling you what I am good at though.  Stickers.  Yup.  I am the Queen of getting all excited over effort and I slap 'em on the page like a boss.

Another thing I'm decent (but not perfect) at is praising the work even though it is usually a work in progress.  We vote on our favorite letters on each line and our favorite one gets the smiley face.  I have to remind my perfectionist self that I am looking for good effort, not necessarily perfection.

The painful reading?  I praise it because I know that calling people up is the way to go. 

We call this speaking life at our house.  Speak life to those around you.  It costs nothing to bless like that.

So yeah.  The teaching reading bit is a hard part of this gig for me.  Even though it is painfully hard for me, I'm trying to speak life in it.

My favorite part of the job is gathering in the living room to read our stories out loud together.  We are all learning so much together.  Looking up to see big old brown eyes hanging on every word is a special thing.

Thankfully the teaching of reading shouldn't last forever.  Until then, there are always stickers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bed & Breakfast Weekend Inspiration

Here is the inspiration for creating a B&B Weekend for us each year...
Dear FlyLady,
I wanted to let you know about the wonderful B&B my husband and I stayed at this Memorial Day weekend. The small but simply furnished kitchen was well stocked with delicious healthy snacks and meals. Homemade waffles with blackberries were served from a beautiful, clean kitchen. The living areas and bedrooms were furnished with fresh, plumped pillows, lovely matching sheets and down comforter, and scented candles everywhere. The bathroom – ah… bubble bath, lotions, and fresh, white towels. The library was stocked with books, magazines and yoga videos…
… Best of all, my husband and I spent time together with no interruptions, chores, or traffic. Okay – you guessed it… thanks to you, this is my home. Thank you, thank you.
I LOVE THIS STORY from Flylady's Website.  A few years ago I decided I was going create a B&B Weekend for us.  It gave me something to look forward to during the month of January.  Once the tree comes down it can be kind of blah feeling around the house.

When we started doing an annual at home B&B Weekend, we both had jobs and very busy schedules.  Proactively carving out a weekend where we saved it for home and family was hard to do!  I love that now, every February, I can look at my calendar and see 3 days where we spend hanging out and having fun.

The best thing about a B&B is the ambiance.

Little bouquets of flowers from the table to the bathroom make everything so cheery.

Thick cut French toast served up with warm berry sauce and good coffee make a nice way to start the day.

So!  We re-create something similar to this every year.  I go to the store and buy a bouquet of flowers and divide it up into mason jars to spread throughout the house.  Kitchen, bedside tables, bathrooms, all of them get a jar of flowers.  It is an excuse to buy a new candle.  I also enjoy getting a new book or magazine that I've had my eye on.

In the weeks leading up to our weekend (like, now!) I start slowly working through our home to get it looking good (not perfectly organized and spit spot, but better than it was!).  I am very careful with my grocery store budget during January so that I can try to save extra in anticipation for our February weekend.  We also have some gift cards that we will cash in on during our weekend.

The story I started with makes me smile every single time.  There is no place like home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sparkling Kitchen

Every January, in preparation for our little at home Bed & Breakfast weekend in February, I clear the kitchen counters of EVERYTHING and give them a good washing.  Since we have white formica counters I spray them down with bleach which gets them nice and white.

You will be amazed at what it will do for the feel of your kitchen if you rid the counter tops of everything so you can really see the canvas you have to work with.

I've probably told you about how when we were growing up we did not live in a fancy house and we did not have a lot of money.  My mother worked very hard to provide for my sister and I.  Even though we did not have lots of fancy things, my mother always taught us the value of taking care of what we did have and keeping it looking as nice as possible.

This afternoon what I really wanted to do was lay in the rays of sunshine on my bed like a cat.  I even tried to lay down a bit, but all the while I kept thinking about being a blessing to my home.  I kept thinking about the mission for this week which is to clean off my counters.  Well fine then!  Mentally I prepared to spend an hour blessing my kitchen.  It did not take that long.

Let me introduce you to two of my best friends when it comes to making the place sparkle.  My other two sidekicks (not pictured) are Windex Multi-Surface spray and bleach spray.  I love how the Windex Multi-Surface spray smells and how it makes my flat cooktop and stainless steel sparkle like crazy.

Once everything was washed down I only put back what I really wanted.  This space behind my sink is so tricky.  Water gets splashed here on a daily basis and it needs to be wiped down often because of dust.  I've never really found a solution I was happy with for this space, but this solution is making me smile today.

It reminds me of how our prayers rise to God and are like incense to Him.  Our church gave us cutie pie little mason jars filled with prayers to pray over our ourselves, our families and the body.

Today may have been a great day for lazing in the warm sunshine like a cat but it feels good to step back and see the work of my hands.

A little effort goes a long way and every little bit we do contributes to the look and feel of our home.  See for yourself.  Clear those counters and shine them up-you'll see how good it makes you feel!

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Habits-Good & Bad

After nearly two months of handwashing every cotton pickin' dish, I am pleased to say that we are up and running with a dishwasher again praise God from whom all blessings flow.

This is what my counters have looked like for many days.  It reiterated what you hear all the time-the kitchen is the heart of the home.  My home has generally felt chaotic for weeks.  Dishes drying on the counter all day and night. You want to get your home whipped into shape?  Make your bed and clean off your kitchen counters!

Ain't she a beaut?  This is my long awaited new helper.

She even has a new car smell.  New car smell?  you say.  Yes she does.  What do you mean?  you ask.  I'll put it like this.  One time Shane ordered a wedding cake flavored sno-cone.  What does it taste like?  I asked.  It tastes like wedding cake, he said.  I took a bite and sure enough.  It tasted exactly like wedding cake.  Now, I am not sure why my beautiful new dishwasher has a new car smell but she does and I love it. 

Handwashing dishes for two months taught me something.  It taught me that new habits are easily established.  It taught me that I can try to have a decent attitude about my new habit and that will make it even that much better.  The first few tries of a new habit are the most difficult.  Catching myself with a pooey attitude and trying to re-route my thoughts toward something more positive make it ten times easier to keep going in a better direction.

Monday at my house always means laundry day.  It means I make my bed and loads of clean laundry get dumped and folded on my bed all day long.  Monday means home for me.  We stay put on Mondays.  I almost never blow dry my hair or put on make-up on Mondays.  The sound of laundry washing and spinning, the flicker of candles, lessons up and running, hands clinking through the Lego bins-all the sounds of Monday.  It is our habit.

How cute is this candle?  I have a habit of lighting candles all the time.  This is the cutest little candle I've ever laid eyes on.  Talk about Happy Happy Happy.

Over the holiday I also realized I have some bad habits that need to be kicked to the curb.  It is hard to kick a bad habit to the curb.  I realized that I have gotten into the bad habit of checking email and FB first thing in the morning.  Talk about a worthless way to start the day.  It is not my desire to be filling my morning first thing with that kind of unproductive emptiness.  So, I'm starting a new habit of not checking anything until I have said Hi to Jesus and spent time with him.  Then, I say Hi to the rest of the crew that like to be fed and watered.  I've been keeping paper with me because a million things I want to Google or look up come to mind first thing.  I jot them down and take my handy list to my computer when it is time.

I've toyed around with the idea of quitting the habit of morning coffee.  Today I made it until 11am and then kicked the idea of that crazy habit to the curb.  The brew just finished and now I am happily back on track and things are feeling as they should.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My 40 Hanger Closet

Recently something came across my Facebook feed that intrigued me.  Someone was talking about having a 40 hanger closet.  Interesting.  Just for funsies I went and counted up my hangers.  Once I passed 100 I quit counting because come on.  All those clothes and nothing to wear?  Really?

The thought of giving the 40 hanger closet a try had been brewing around in my mind and Sunday morning when I could find nothing to wear to church it kind of sealed the deal for me.  I wore wrinkled black pants to church and came home and got to work.

(please note: I am aware of my striped shirt addiction and have vowed to avert the eyes when they call my name at the store)

If you are feeling iffy about this, as I was, then you may want to do what I did.  I filled two Rubbermaid bins with my extra clothes.  Good clothes that I like but don't necessarily love or need.  I'm going to allow myself to hold onto them for a month or so while I give the 40 hanger closet a test drive.

Check out this next picture.  I have no idea how that happened.  I can only assume God was smiling down on me.

For an added layer of the experiment, I put all my hangers in backwards.  When I pull something to wear, the hanger will get turned the correct way.  After a few weeks I will really be able to see what I have been wearing.  This is going to help me think through my core wardrobe and where the gaps are that need to be filled for optimal mixing and matching.

I have shopped from my 40 hanger wardrobe three times now and it was SO EASY to pick out my outfit. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Easing in...gently

One of the gifts of having walked the homeschool path for five years is the little bit of experience I have gained.

After taking a couple weeks off for Christmas, I know that the best way for us to gear back up is to ease into our normal rhythms.

It is important to take cue's from the kiddos when starting back up.

It is OK to go slow the first few days.

Today we made it through half of a phonics lesson before the glazed look started taking over my six year olds eyes.  So, before he went into meltdown mode I told him "Great job, we're done with phonics for the day!" and we put it away.  Tomorrow we'll pick back up and keep going.

We spent long, glorious days over the break doing a whole bunch of nothing.  It feels good to do that and it feels good to get back into the swing of things.

On the home house is looking good.  By that I mean I have been throwing things away.  This week is kitchen week.  In the last few days, I've tossed 5 grocery sacks full of stuff I don't love or use in my kitchen.  The craziest thing I tossed were the tea spoons.  You know...the long, skinny spoons used for stirring sugar into tea?  We never use them so I tossed them.  All of them.

When Shane came home I told him about all of my progress.  I told him how ruthless I was being in tossing the unused.  I told him of the tea spoon's fate.  His face dropped.  Are you serious?  I use them for getting the peanut butter out of the jar every day.


I guess you win some and you loose some.

Thank heavens I kept the butter knives which are equally handy in scooping from the peanut butter jar.

If you are looking for inspiration geared toward getting your house whipped into shape, check this out.  I am using this for a guide in giving me ideas on where to clean out.  It is 365 days worth of missions.  Last week I got on a roll and knocked out a few days worth all at once.  Tomorrow I'll tell ya what I spent yesterday afternoon doing.  It is EXTREME...