Monday, April 27, 2009

Restoring Order - the reading nook

I hope you had a restful weekend. I am looking forward to the week ahead - as there is a lot planned. We are leaving town Wednesday - so I'm going to be bustling about packing and whatnot. But, I have one little project that I'd like to accomplish before we leave town.

This week I'm back in the boy's room. Right now there is a bookshelf that contains a lot of stuff - but no rhyme or reason to it. I'd like to move that bookcase out of the boys room and create a reading area. And I'd like to gather all the kids books throughout the house so they are in one place. The only exception would be the ones that are good night stories. Those will be located in their room.

That's it for me - How about you? What project are you hoping to wrap up this week?

Even though I'll be out of town, I'll be sure to post Mr Linky on Friday - so we can keep it up!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yeah for Sunday Musings!

It's Sunday night at 8:30 and The Red Sox and the Yankees are playing on Sunday night baseball. I love Sunday night baseball. Every time I come downstairs from putting the boys to bed and Sunday night baseball is on - it just makes me happy. And tonight it's the Yankees and the Red Sox - which always makes me happy because the first year I followed baseball was the banner year when the Red Sox beat Yanks for the American League Championship. Go Sox! :) The first year I followed baseball was the first banner year when I fell wildly in love with the man who is now my husband. Yeah happy memories!

This weekend was a really great weekend. We got some good projects done around the house - and I got some good pampering. (Thank you my Love!) We made it to church this morning.

Church. We have lived in Texas for a year - and still have not found that home sweet home. But, the church we have attended three times now - seems to be a good fit. The service is okay - but the children's department is what keeps us coming back. Every time we pick Little One up he can verbalize and talk about what he has learned. This morning he said "Jesus tells me to obey my parents!" There is a puppet (blue and named Alfred? Alfie? I try to gather all the info I can..)who the kids see every week - and the puppet's message sticks. Yeah for the puppet! Baby Brother came home with a sticker on his bum that said he had been changed. Good to know. On Easter Little One had a sticker on his shirt that read: "I am always with you. Matthew 28:20" I peeled his little sticker off and put it on the back of my cell phone. I was greatly ministerd to through that little sticker - The Lord is with my son. The Lord is with me. Medicine to a mother's heart. Yeah for the sitckers!!

And speaking of Little One - he is so little yet so big.

Yesterday Daddy brought home Kung Fu Panda. Our world will never be the same. This morning he said to his daddy -
"I'm going to pin you."
"oh yeah?"
"Lay down your coffee Dad. I'm going to pin you."

I was so proud of him! Well, because he waited long enough to observe what his Daddy was doing before going into full wrestling mode.

He seems to be brimming with toddlerness this week. He has a new fascination with running around naked. He has ALL OF THE SUDDEN become SUPER PICKY about his shoes and his shorts. What? When? Why??? Today walking from Sunday school we had to stop and "get the grass out!" of his sandals way too many times. We had a full blown crying temper tantrum this morning because he wasn't wearing shorts and his pants were coverning THE SHOES! As a compromise, he went to church wearing the pants - rolled up mid-calf.

At the park this week he almost punched a kid because - well, the other boy was two. And in his world - there is only ONE two year old. The conversation was quite hilarious.
Zander:"I'm two."
Little One:"No I'm two."
Zander"I'm two."
This goes on for awhile.
Little One:"I'M TWO!" Fist going up in the air.
Me:"Little One, don't hit your friend. Put your hand down. Good job."
Little One"I'm two. You are twenty three." then turning to Zander's dad - "Zander is twenty three. I'm two."

Zander just turned two and didn't know what to do with that. So he changed the subject to talk about Thomas and Percy. Good job Zander. Yeah for being two!

And now, it is Sunday night. My house is a complete disaster. I love the weekend - I just can't believe the aftermath. Lots to do tomorrow.

This week the boys and I will be traveling - my BFF all the way from ninth grade(!) is getting married next week! So the boys and I are off to CO for a week packed full of events. Being the Matron of Honor and all that entails - and then attending two baby showers. I know!

And speaking of Baby Showers. Did you know that Babies R Us has a rewards card? It's one of the cards you scan when you buy something there and it keeps track of how much you spent and gives you coupons and dollars back. I didn't know - but if you buy lots of baby gifts there it might be a good thing to know.

That's all I've got for now.

I'll be checking in throughout the week - hope you have a great one!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Restoring Order - Refrigerator and Pantry

I love working together on these projects! Knowing that I'm going to report at the end of the week has been so helpful. Just this week my husband said that the house is feeling more empty and feeling good! That was music to my ears!

So, this week I decided to tackle the fridge and the pantry. Like Monica, I was so surprised how little time it took to actually get things into shape. Okay - so here are my before pics:

And here are my after:

This is my fabulous spice rack. Having different sizes and shapes of spice bottles was impossible to keep in order. Plus, it was very time consuming when it came time to bake/cook because I was looking through all of the bottles. This little project was an anniversary gift from my Mother In Law. We found the bottles at Ikea and the labels at Bed Bath and Beyond. It took some time transferring the spices into the bottles, and then labeling them - but let me tell you, it has been a huge time saver in the long run. This is one of my favorite departments of my kitchen! Let me add, that not all of the spices were listed in the label package, so having my own label maker came in handy.

This is my little helper. He was totally content to sit and play with the wooden spoon the whole time I worked.This afternoon we have to go to the monster wal-mart run. It will be nice to come home to a clean and organized fridge and pantry!

Monday, April 20, 2009

And the winner is...

The winner of our first Restoring Order giveaway is Anna at Montana Wegners. Congratulations! Anna, if you would please email me at twiaamail(at)yahoo(dot)com I will get your gift card and scrapbook organizer to you!
Good job everyone! Let's keep at it! :)

Giveaway update.

Good Morning! I realize that I promised to announce the winner yesterday afternoon - but we went out of town and got home (way) later than originally planned. I have a toddler who just told me "I need something to eat". So, our day begins. I will draw and post the winner later this afternoon. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finding Blue Bonnet Fields....

One of the comments that was left on my Blue Bonnet post was how did I find the field and where was it? Well, the field is in Austin - and sorry, but I don't know the first thing about where there might be Blue Bonnets in Houston. I wish I could help - because I know the feeling! You've asked a excellent question.

Last year, being my first year in TX, I was completely clueless to the Blue Bonnet photo op - and I had no idea where to go and totally missed my opportunity.

This year, I googled, and searched, but the most successful route - Word of Mouth. I just asked a lot of different people. My neighbor heard about the field where we took our pictures at the library story time!

And guess what? This field is three minutes from my house between a doctor office and a nursing home!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Restoring Order - End of Week Wrap Up

Okay, so how'd you do? My goal list was way too long. I only accomplished most of the first goal. Most of the boy's clothes are sorted. (Yeah!) I have a large garbage bag for donations. (Yippee!) Now I just need to wrap up the project by organizing their current clothes and fitting them in the space we have. I found this at a local consignment store. (One of my favs!) and I am trying to decide how to use them. I am leaning towards labeling the type of clothing for my infant. (pj's, everyday, church etc) But can also see the benefit of doing size. We'll see.

Okay - so here's my before and after.
Now, I am not going to go and take a picture of the closet, because, well, there's two sleeping boys in there - and we wouldn't want to do anything to change that! But, just imagine an empty closet, and all the little baby clothes hanging so nicely. If I get a chance tomorrow I may post a picture, but I make no promises.

About the organization part - all of the tubs are about 3/4 full. Ruth made a comment how Carrie uses boxes that paper comes in - and I think that is a fabulous idea. I have asked my husband's secretary to start saving the boxes for me. I also am going to store/sort according to seasons. We do a lot of traveling to CO - and need lots more winter clothes when we go there than we do here in Austin. When packing, it will be easier to grab the winter box for the appropriate age.

It does feel so good to get this done! Knowing you all were behind me helped a ton!

Okay, now for the fun part. If you did some de-cluttering this past week and post about it today or tomorrow, your name will go in a drawing for a 15.00 gift card to Joann Fabric - along with one of these. (Except yours will be chocolate brown and blue.)

There are a few things to do to be eligible:
1.) Post about your de-cluttering project and link back to either mine or Monica's blog.
2.) If you post before and after pictures your name will go in twice.

That's it!

So, link up to Mr. Linky by Saturday 6:00 pm and I'll post the winner Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Restoring Order - Mid-week check in...

Okay, so it's the middle of the week already! How's your de-cluttering project coming along? Thank you for all of your great tips and ideas! They have been really helpful. Here's my mid-week progress:
Looks like a big mess - doesn't it? Oh no, this is sorting and more sorting in action. I am the only one in the whole world who knows what all these piles mean. And, they are soon ready to be boxed or given away. Unfortunately, the boys toy room is off limits for the time being!

Remember, I am going to be giving a little incentive for all who participate - and here's a little hint.

Have a great day - and happy de-cluttering! :)

Texas Blue Bonnets

Yesterday I took the boys to a nearby field of Texas Blue Bonnets. I think we had two different motives in mind, I wanted to get that "perfect shot" and they were into exploring. Oh well. It was fun nonetheless!

Monday, April 13, 2009

To Rule and Subdue

My friend, Monica and I are starting a new series today! I am so excited about this and hope that you will join in.

Monica is one of my kindred spirit friends. She and I went to high school together and have kept in touch as we have walked different avenues of life. Now, we both have little kids and share in the ups and downs of motherhood. Last week we were talking about managing clutter - and thus this series was birthed!

Each week (we'll alternate) one of us will post an area we'll be working on de-cluttering, organizing, purging, etc...and then later in the week we'll post photographs and have a Mr. Linky for you to join! It is so much more fun to do this kind of thing when we are doing it together and have the encouragement of one another.

So, here's my thoughts and heart about the clutter. Right now, with two little children, clutter seems to overtake everything. It is something I have been working hard at since January. I have seriously made three or four Goodwill trips a month. And guess what? I am nowhere near done! It seems to be like an onion - layer after layer I find more stuff and more reasons for it all to go.

I have been seeking a lot of advice and instruction in this area - as it is one that I seriously struggle with - and want change! And it seems, the more clutter, the bigger the mess, meaning the more time and energy I put into trying to keep an orderly home. I hope to share some of my discoveries as this series progresses.

When I was single and right before I met my husband, I went through a Bible Study called the Five Aspects of Woman. One of the aspects is called Mistress of the Domain. In recent weeks I have revisited this concept - and it has helped me tremendously as I attempt to bring order into my home. The concept is taken from Genesis 1:26-28
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

God has given us the authority and he has also commanded us to rule and subdue that which has been entrusted to us. I find such power in this idea. I have the authority to rule over my home and the stuff that's inside. But, I have also been instructed to do so. The study defines these two verbs as:

RULE - "To rule means to make authoritative decisions regarding a matter's course and destiny."

SUBDUE- "to bring under control by conquest and keep under control by diligent maintenance."

(taken from the Five Aspects of Woman Bible Study by Barbara Mouser)

These definitions help me as I conquer the areas of my house that need attention. I want to rule over the clutter, rather than the clutter rule me and my home. I want to be diligent by developing systems that will help in subduing it. And finally, I desire to produce and home that is welcoming and peaceful. However, let me be the first to say that these are my desires - and boy do I have a long way to go!

I am excited that we can work on this together. See my post below to see the area that I'm going to rule and subdue this week. I hope that you'll join in and come back and tell us about your ruling and subduing at the end of the week. We can do it! As a little incentive, I am going to be offering a giveaway for all who participate. Check back on Friday to see what it's going to be...

Okay, Ready? Set? GO!!!

Restoring Order - Project Number One

Okay, so I've gone back and forth about where to start. And I've decided to start with the thing that gnaws at me every time I need to go into my boy's room. And, quite frankly, I am sick of the overwhelming feeling that overtakes me when I go in their room to do anything. What is it that is so demanding of my attention and energy? It's their clothes. AAAAAHHHH!!! Their closet is brimming over with clothes from sizes newborn to 4T.

So, my focus this week is my boy's room. Here are the things I hope to get done:
  • go through all of the clothes and organize the ones I want to keep and donate the ones we don't need.
  • Find and purchase a new rocking chair (The one we had became a safety hazard when we realized that little toes and fingers can easily get smooshed (or worse!) and it had to go. But, oh we need a new one!!!)
  • Move bookcase out of the room and create a reading corner outside of the room
Okay - so I've taken my before pics and hopefully will have some great after pics to take as well.

How about you? Do you have any tips on organizing children clothing? If so, please share!

Easter 2009

Helping Mama make apple pie - even with a double ear ache!

Our first try at dying eggs. Most of the eggs didn't make it to the "hide me" stage.

Trying to get that perfect "Easter Morning" shot. The rain outside didn't help.

Nana and Grandpa sent some pretty awesome Easter Baskets. Thank you!! :)

Getting ready to leave for church, then off to some friend's for dinner and fellowship. I love how Baby Brother is watching Little One's every move. (Oh, and he's so loving this thing they call standing....)

It was a full and wonderful day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Palm Sunday

This past Sunday I was a little disappointed when we awoke with two sick kids and a sick mommy, meaning church would not be in our agenda for the day. I was sad because Palm Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays to attend church.

I can remember many Sundays growing up when I'd arrive at church and was handed a beautiful palm branch to carry with me throughout the morning. Every year I would savor that branch. I can remember years when there was no branches handed out, and I would feel a little bummed. Then, as I got older, I realized the day meant that the next week I would come to church in a brand new dress and shoes. Lots of years that new dress would have been made by my Grandma, and it was certain to have the perfect twirling element that every little girl loves when it comes to twirly dresses. Ah, sweet memories.

And then, as my relationship with the Lord developed, I realized the significance of the day. I wonder how Jesus went through that day when he knew all too well the pain and betrayal that would come from those same mouths. Time and time again God knew the heart of man, he knew full well what is to come and yet responds and extends a full fist of love, grace and mercy. That is the God of then, and that is the God of today. I find such peace in that aspect of him.

He knows the full heart of man. I can say this, because as I awoke saddened that we wouldn't be a church on Palm Sunday - there were also lots of other things going on in my heart. All week long I had a desire to have a fresh bouquet of flowers. I love how a bouquet brightens my kitchen. I can go for a long time not even thinking about a bouquet. But then, something inside me stirs and I want a bouquet. When this happens, I'll ask Hubs to stop and get me one. Or sometimes I will just pick one up while I am at the store. One or two times I've done both!

However, this past week, my longing for a bouquet was never voiced as every trip to the grocery store was the type where there was no space to even think about stopping at the floral department. Both my husband's week and my week was filled with taking care of business or sick kids, get the idea.

Back to Palm Sunday morning. My sweet Hubby went out to run some errands while the kids napped and I clipped the Sunday coupons. He returned with a beautiful bouquet! And, not only that, in the bouquet there was a palm branch and two peace lilies! He did not know of my sadness of not going to church, nor did he know that I had wanted a bouquet of flowers all week long. I have to believe that a higher power had something to do with that.

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the King of Israel!" Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,
"Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey's colt."
John 12:12-15

Yes, the Lord knows the heart of man. He knows the pain and darkness and he knows the rich, deep needs and the seemingly simple desires. And I believe that He has come, He delivers and satisfies.

On this Easter weekend, take time to savor and rest in the blessed gift our Lord has extended to us. Our deliverer has come and has defeated the grave. Hosanna!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Kind of Week We're Having...This Pretty Much Sums It All Up.

Four Coughing Mouths
Three Calls to the Nurse
Two Trips to the Doctor in one week for our sweet Baby Brother
One Messy House

Need I say more?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Pretty Great Deal

In today's Sunday paper coupons there is a rebate form to get a turkey or ham for free. Of course, nothing is for free. You have to buy 40.00 of unlivever products in a month's time - and send in your receipts. When I looked into it, I discovered that we use a lot of these products - so I'm going to give it a try.