Monday, January 22, 2018

Another week of gratitude...

The days zoom by and the numbers in my gratitude journal grow quickly.  I can't wrap my mind around the fact that our youngest grandson is going to be eight months old in just a few days when it seems like it was just a blink of an eye ago when he was born. It's hard to wrap my mind around how fast it all goes by.  However, keeping a gratitude journal helps to remove the fear that comes with growing older. God's daily faithfulness is recorded right there on paper for me to see and it reassures me that He always has been and always will be faithful as the years go by.

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)

-an unexpected chance to spend the day with our two youngest granddaughters
-good weather for an afternoon at the park

-my favorite healthy salad for dinner
(spinach, chicken, pear, feta, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette)

-my hub's getting to spend some time with his best friend who unexpectedly came through town
-haircut and color day!
-a beautiful walk before dinner
-homemade spaghetti sauce simmering away to eat over healthy "zoodles"

-our middle grandson putting on a clip-on tie to visit us
-him singing the Hallelujah Chorus in the middle of Walmart
-reading books that are three generations old in our family to our grandkids

-youngest daughter and grandson coming to see us
-going on a walk together
-a fresh paint job inside of our church
-good news

-a relaxing date day morning
-lunch at one of our favorite restaurants with a Christmas gift card
-a relaxing evening catching up on "Victoria"

-God's help with the everyday practical things
-a walk as the sun was going down
-grabbing dinner out together at Hula Boy after a busy and productive day

-wonderful worship and word
-lunch with friends
-a Sunday afternoon nap

still following,

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Firmly Fixed...

For the past twenty four hours the news has been reporting non-stop about the U.S.A.'s current "government shutdown".  Though in actuality there have been seventeen government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process began, you would think that it's the end of civilization as we know it.  Obviously, it's a frustrating situation, is not beneficial to our nation, and will be harmful if it continues too long.  But, it is also an example of the way fear seems to be running rampant.  

Turn on the radio or television and every other commercial is for some product that you need in case of natural disaster, in case the banks fail or the stock market crashes, to protect your home from invaders, or something you need to keep you safe from all manner of potential physical ailments.  Each commercial is banking on fear to motivate you to buy their product. 

Clearly, there is wisdom in being prepared for the future and emergency situations. The reality, however, is that no one can prepare themselves or protect themselves from every worst case scenario.  You could drive yourself crazy and bankrupt trying to do so.  Eventually, we have to accept that we can only do our best and then we must simply trust God for the rest.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 21st, 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 19, 2018

Friday Favs...Cleaning and Decluttering, Part Two

Welcome back for part two of my little blog series on cleaning and decluttering.  Last week was part one which you can access by clicking here.  That post was mainly about daily tidying and how to stay on top of excess and clutter.  This week I thought I'd write about my weekly cleaning routine.
Just a reminder of last week's disclaimer.  I am not a self-proclaimed expert on cleaning.  I have areas that I struggle to keep tidy-like the closet my husband and I share.  (We definitely need to invest in some sort of closet system-and we both might like clothes and shoes a wee bit too much.) I am not a minimalist.  I LOVE minimalist decor and blog stalk many people who decorate that way. But, while I declutter and get rid of junk on a regular basis and try not to bring anything new into our home that doesn't have an immediate place and purpose, I am far from a minimalist. In other words, minimalism inspires me, and I glean a lot from their decluttering tips. That's what I want these cleaning posts to do for you-inspire without bringing condemnation. Everyone has different standards for their home.  Everyone has different standards of what is too cluttered and what is clean enough.  My goal for my home is threefold-I want it to always feel calm and peaceful and quiet, (not necessarily meaning the noise level but the feeling), to feel welcoming and to feel cozy.
Because my husband is a pastor, he spends most Saturdays in his office at the church making sure everything is ready for Sunday. (Our day off is Friday.) For years, Saturdays have been my house cleaning day.  I suppose it stems from years of wanting our home to be ready in case I decided to extend any last minute invites for Sunday lunch. Now we mostly eat out on Sundays after church and rest on Sunday afternoons/evenings. We are more likely to have people over on other days of the week-but old habits die hard so I still clean house on Saturdays. You should do what works best for you.  Perhaps dividing cleaning chores up on different days would work best. I just like to get it all done on one day.
Here's what I do on my Saturday house cleaning day-
(I like to listen to something while I clean-music, podcasts, the news, or even a movie that I've watched before.) 
I start with the chore that I dislike the most.  That way when I'm done with that, I already feel I'm on the downhill stretch to being done.  For me that chore is... 

-scrub the tubs, shower, toilets and sinks  
-wipe down the countertops and the cabinet and drawer fronts 
-clean the mirrors and shower doors
-wash any dirty towels and rugs
-scrub the floors 
-wash all dishes
-wipe down countertops taking time to move and to clean underneath anything on the counter 
-wipe down all appliances-clean stove top, clean out and wipe down refrigerator, (don't forget to clean the top of the refrigerator which is a place that collects dust and grease)
- clean microwave
-wipe down cabinets-I wipe down my white cabinets weekly using a vinegar water solution or other mild cleaner. (This is much easier than waiting until grease and dirt have made a grimy layer!)
-vacuum and damp mop wood floor 
(This is my favorite tool for vacuuming my wood floors. I have the older version which is not cordless. To damp mop I use a microfiber mop and a spray bottle of vinegar water or other mild cleaner.)
Wash sheets
Dust all surfaces (I try to declutter the top of our nightstands when I dust-but it feels like a losing battle!)

Dust all surfaces (My office desk top is another challenging spot to keep clutter free.)

-Dust all surfaces
-Vacuum or wash all area rugs
-Damp mop wood floors 
-Wipe down leather furniture with leather wipes
That's about it for my weekly house cleaning routine. (I do make sure all of the laundry is done as well, which isn't a huge deal since I do laundry during the week.)  Next week I'll end this series by writing about deep cleaning, spring and pre-holiday cleaning, and decluttering excess.

Have a happy Friday
a safe and blessed weekend!



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,