Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A walk to the park...

Our two youngest granddaughters had no school on Martin Luther King day.
Unfortunately, my daughter got the flu and my son-in-law was out of town,
but happily that meant the grandgirlies got to spend the day with me!
The weather was great, so we walked to the park, where the girls played and explored for a couple of hours.
I brought my camera with me and told the girls we were going to play a game.
We were each to pick three beautiful things we saw on our walk and I would take photos of them.
Then we would choose the most beautiful photo of them all.

In my opinion, the photos of my granddaughters are definitely the winners!

still following,

Flower Friday

Monday, January 15, 2018

Continually thankful...

Popping in quickly on this MLK day to post my weekly gratitude list.  My oldest daughter is ill so I'm taking care of our two youngest granddaughters for her since they are home from school today.
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-my new copper teakettle
-a sweet walk and visit with my "unofficially adopted granddaughter"
-dinner and a movie with girlfriends

-a sweet visit with our middle grandson
-phone calls with my oldest sister and brother
-worshiping God on my walk

-a wonderful phone conversation with my Nebraskan friend
-a walk in the rain
-snuggles with my guy

-digging in to understand God's Word
-helping out a friend
-dinner with our two oldest grands

-Friday Date Day!
-getting to visit with our youngest daughter, son-in-law and grandson 
(eating a rice wrap)
-watching our middle grandson, (age 3), while his parents took his older siblings to the movies-(He said, "Nana, your house is fun! Can I live with you?" But the minute his mama came to get him he ran into her arms and seemed to forget his plans to move in with me. Ha!Ha!)
-pink roses

-a spring-like January day
-talking to my sister on the phone

-an encouraging Sunday morning
-lunch with friends
-my word for 2018, "yield", 
popping up everywhere it seems

still following,

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Father Knows Best...

I was nine years old when Daddy left Mama and us kids for another woman.  I remember staring into the darkness out of my bedroom window at night, tears running down my face, asking God to make my daddy come home. I was too young to theologically reason that God doesn't violate a person's free will. All I knew is that I wanted God to answer the cry of my hurting heart.

As I got older my prayers changed. I became old enough to surmise that perhaps it was best for my mama and us kids if Daddy didn't come home.  We were doing well, involved in a good church,  and growing in Christ.  My prayers changed.  I began to pray that my Daddy would get right with God. I assumed that when Daddy left us, he had also left Jesus.  What I didn't realize was that Jesus hadn't let go of Daddy. I prayed for Daddy for years.  I was pregnant with my second daughter when Daddy had to have a triple bypass.  Evidently, that was an incentive to him to make sure things between him and Jesus were okay.  My prayers were answered.

There are simple little prayers that I've prayed that God has answered almost immediately.  There are other prayers about much more significant and life impacting things that I've prayed for years that I've yet to see Him answer. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 14th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Also happily linking up with the lovely
The Mom Gene

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Favs...Let's Talk Cleaning and Decluttering, Part One

Last week I posed a question to my readers asking if there was any interest in some posts about cleaning and decluttering.  I received quite a few responses saying yes, so this post is the first. 

First of all, I feel a bit trepidatious posting this.  I do not think that I am the queen of clean or that I have reached the pinnacle of perfection in homemaking. 

I definitely DO NOT have it all together when it comes to cleaning and decluttering my home. I am disciplined in cleaning my home most of the time-but I definitely have my areas of weakness in this as well. 

I no longer have children living at home. When our three daughters were younger, keeping the house clean was definitely more challenging, yet I still had the same standards I do today-the public areas of our home were to be kept tidy. Don't ask me about how their bedrooms looked at times though!

I AM NOT a minimalist.  Yet, I love the clean, simple minimalist look that I see online. I love home decor and kitchen cookware a bit too much. I have more pots and pans and mixing bowls than one cook could ever use. I love home decor.  I love clothes and shoes and handbags. To keep things from taking over my life I declutter and purge often and try to live by these rules-for anything new I bring into our home something old has to be given away. Also, I must have a place and purpose for something before I buy it.  That keeps me from buying something just because I like it-it must have an immediate place and purpose for it to take up valuable space in my home.

You can be sure that REAL LIFE is happening in our house. But, the goal that I live by is to have the main living areas of our home ready for any pop-in visitors.  Here are some of the ways I try to make that happen.

-Keep the public areas of your home picked up daily. (In my case this is the entry, living room, kitchen, dining room and guest bedroom and bathroom.)  I am a habitual tidier and clutter picker-upper!  (To a fault in fact...sometimes my husband isn't finished with something and I've already put it away! Or, I have been known to put a cup or glass in the dishwasher before he has finished the contents!) My personality doesn't rest well if things are chaotic and messy, so I do keep our bedroom, our master bathroom and my home office picked up as well, but I tend to be less perfectionistic in those spaces.

-Have a place for everything and everything in it's place. Always put everything back where it belongs when you're done with it. For example-Every shelf in the pantry has a purpose-small appliances, baking items, breakfast foods, snacks.  Every cupboard and drawer has a purpose. Coffee, tea and cups, pots and pans, spices, everyday plates and glasses, baking items.  All like items in our home are stored in the same place.  For example-there is one place where all of our candles are kept, one place where you'll find lightbulbs, one location for all small decor items, (and large decor items have a place in the garage).  Decide where the best spot is for each item. Figure out what works best for you and then always put things back where they belong.  If you get into a habit of delaying dealing with putting things away or throwing things into any cupboard or closet where you find some space then you will inevitably find yourself living in clutter and chaos.

-Have a daily pick-up routine. It takes less than an hour for me to tidy up the main living areas of our home. What I do-make bed, tidy our bathroom after my shower, scan the living room to see if anything needs picked up or sofa pillows need straightened, check dining room and put anything away that's been left there, do dishes and wipe down kitchen counter, dust mop wood floors and vacuum rugs as needed. I both begin and end the day making sure everything is tidy and picked up.

-Don't procrastinate. Deal with dishes, messes and clutter and mail right away.
When we get the mail I immediately put mail where it belongs, put junk mail in recycling and destroy anything with personal information on it.  Mess happens when we handle things more than once or procrastinate dealing with things. It only takes a minute to deal with mail and other clutter right away. 
You opened a package or emptied a jar?  Don't delay, put it in recycling right away. You spilled something? Wipe it up right away.
Clean up as you cook. Put the dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down the table and counters after every meal. (But be flexible! This strength can also be a weakness. After Thanksgiving dinner I turned down a walk with my family so I could get the dishes done.  Sometimes you need to choose people over tidiness and I fail in this too often. For our Christmas breakfast I used cute Christmas paper plates so I could relax and enjoy our time together more.)

-Declutter often.  After Christmas I did a declutter.  New things came into my home, so it was time to get rid of the old.  I went through my closet and got rid of anything I haven't worn in quite some time.  That way I had room for some new sweaters when they were on post-Christmas for eight dollars each!
I did a complete pantry and and refrigerator clean out.  I took everything out, wiped everything down, and threw away anything old or outdated.
I got one new coffee mug so I got rid of several old ones. I have one whole cupboard of coffee cups and mugs and teapots!  I told you I'm not a minimalist!
I got rid of some home decor that I no longer love and use.

-Daily tidying and frequent decluttering makes the need for deep cleaning less daunting.
But next week I'll be sharing more about that.

Next week I'll share a bit more about decluttering and deep cleaning.

Have a happy Friday
a safe and blessed weekend!



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A belated Christmas gift-my new Simplex copper teakettle

Two years ago, our trip to London, (with a short jaunt to Paris), just added to my love of so many things found in French and English homes that I've had for longer than I can remember.  I've got a small collection of French copper cookware, but when it comes to copper teakettles, the one that I had my eye on was a Simplex copper teakettle from England.  When my husband asked me to give him a list of some Christmas gift ideas, the teakettle was at the top of my list. When it came on sale, he ordered it right away...but then it was backordered.  He disappointedly told me that he had ordered it but that it wasn't going to come in time for me to open it on Christmas day.  I told him that it would be worth the wait, and it sure was!
It came in a plain cardboard box with a nicely gift wrapped box surrounded by bubble wrap inside.
Inside the gift wrapped box was the teakettle, all wrapped up in it's cloth storage bag.
Isn't it so lovely?
I begin my day by sipping a couple of cups of fully caffeinated hot coffee.  But, later in the day my hot beverage of choice is one of my favorite decaf teas. 

 I foresee even more tea drinking in my future!

still following,

Flower Friday