Monday, July 31, 2006

Butterfly Hugs

A couple of years ago I read an article by Mrs. Cindy Schaap in the Christian Womanhood magazine about redbirds. Mrs Schaap wrote that when she sees a redbird, she feels it is a special message to her from the Lord letting her know how much He loves her. I liked that idea a lot, and I adapted it to my love of butterflies. I have always been fascinated by butterflies and was so excited to find our yard full of butterfly bushes when we moved here. Last summer we had so many butterflies in our yard that I felt as though I was at a butterfly conservatory! This year our bushes have been affected by the drought and butterflies have been scarce. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a spiritual or emotional drought, and seeing a butterfly fluttering by just feels like a special hug from God. Find something special in God's creation that you can look upon to remind you just how much He loves you! This beauty attached itself to Mr. C while he was working in the yard. I saw two swallow-tails today!

Wuccha Tok Like Thet Fer?

I saw that Tori took this quiz, so I thought I'd give it a try. I thought the results were very interesting since I've lived in Florida all but the past year of my life. Maybe that's the reason my quiz results were so mixed up; Florida, although a Southern state, has quite a variety of people and dialects. I'm curious to know what I'm speaking with the missing 5%; maybe it's the language of "baby-jabber." What kind of American language do you speak? Find out here.
Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
20% Dixie
10% Yankee
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

I'm Back!

We had a wonderful week at the Sword of the Lord Conference. We heard some fantastic preaching!! I will share some of the highlights soon, but I have a lot to do around the house after being gone for a week. It's going to take me a while to catch up on reading my favorite blogs, too! We arrived home late Saturday afternoon and picked up Buddy from the kennel. Mr. C headed off to visit the kids on the bus route and finish his sermon preparations. I spent the evening filling my shopping cart at Wal-Mart and then went home and got to work cooking for our "5th Sunday Fellowship" at church. This year we started having a covered dish lunch after the morning preaching service when there is a 5th Sunday in the month in addition to the other special fellowships we have throughout the year. We had some delicious Georgia cookin' yesterday! The pics don't do the food justice!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Welcome Bloggy Tourists!

I'm a little late posting for BooMama's Bloggy Tour of Homes, but here goes! Welcome! When we pulled up in the driveway with the realtor a little over a year ago, I knew that this was going to be the house for me when I saw the red front door. I've always dreamed of having a red door!

The front entry...

Where I spend a lot of time...the kitchen!

This is where we share our meals. Mr. C enjoys eating with antlers looming over his head.

My favorite place to unwind...my bathtub!

One of my favorite spots is the flower garden. The kids and I often have a picnic lunch out here and enjoy swinging on the bench swing and watching the fish in the koi pond.

Our homeschool room is undergoing a facelift, so I can't show you a picture of the computer area where I do my blogging. Just imagine a huge mess on the desk!

Thank you all for visiting, and I am looking forward to dropping by a lot of your homes as time allows!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Freezer Food

A lady from our church was kind enough to bless us with some bounty from her garden. Grandma helped me freeze 15 quarts of tomatoes and 8 quarts of okra. Whew! My tomatoe-stained fingers were later in the day treated to a manicure (my toesies got a pedicure, too) with a gift certificate from another dear lady.

A Blogging Break

Our family is headed to the National Sword of the Lord Conference in Walkertown, North Carolina, at Gospel Light Baptist Church. I am looking forward to a week of great preaching and special music. I'll be posting about the conference when we get back home. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday's Favorites

I started collecting Noah's Ark items when I taught school. In our previous home I had a large curio cabinet in which I displayed my collection, but there was no place for the cabinet in our current home. Unfortunately, all of my Noah's Ark things are now stored in the attic with the exception of this item. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the ark is HUGE. It was a Christmas gift from my mom a few years back. Some of the animals have lost their legs over the years because my children like to look at the them with their hands instead of their eyes. It now rests safely atop the entertainment center in the family room.

Going Back in Time

Yesterday my dear mother-in-law and I took a trip to the quaint community of Madison, Georgia. Madison is affectionately nicknamed "The Town Sherman Refused to Burn" and was recognized as the "#1 small town in America" just a few years ago. Madison has over 100 pre-Civil War and Victorian homes. I felt like I had gone back in time. It is the most captivating town I have ever visited! The historical integrity of the town has been wonderfully maintained. Some of the shoppes carry artwork and crafts made by local artisans. Many of the downtown buildings have been restored and now host a multitude of charming shoppes and eateries. We spent the morning perusing the stores and walking the tree-lines streets. My favorite part of the day was when we drove down some of the side streets and discovered these breathtaking Southern homes. I am planning on going back in December to take the Christmas tour of these historic homes. You can read more about Madison here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Attitude Check--Part II

In my last post we looked at what God has to say about our attitude. We can have a cheerful outlook and a positive attitude by focusing on the peace of God instead of focusing on self. 1) Focus by rejoicing. Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Rejoice means to experience joy and gladness to a high degree; to make joyful; to gladden. Alway means perpetually; throughout all time; continually; without variation. So, I should continually experience joy and gladness to a high degree through the Lord Jesus. This verse doesn't say to rejoice only when you are having fun or when you are doing what you want to do. We need to rejoice in all things. 2) Focus by being obvious. Philippians 4:5 "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Moderation is calmness of mind; temperance. Do those around you see how frustrated you get? Does your tone of voice show calmness? I know some ladies who never seem to miss a beat when something unforseen happens or when things don't go as planned. They maintain a calm spirit. Does it do any good to get all upset when things don't turn out the way we want them to? Again, we see where self take priority. Those around us should be able to look at our outward actions and demeanor and know that we are calm and unaffected by our circumstances. 3) Focus by casting everything on Him. Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." This verse gives us such clear instruction. We should not be anxious or fretful about anything. When faced with a problem we should earnestly seek the Lord through prayer. I am quick to pray when I have a problem, but I do not always have an attitude of thanksgiving in the midst of pouring my heart out to the Lord. Many times I have cried out to the Lord asking for wisdom in training my children; however, I know in those moments I have neglected to thank Him for the blessing my children are and for the instruction He has given me through His precious Word. My God is big enough to handle anything that may come my way. If I pray with an attitude of thankfulness, my whole outlook will change. 4) Focus on proper thinking. Philippians 4:7-8 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Wow! These verses should be the filter for my mind. Read those words again. What an encouraging verse! Guard your mind, ladies. Be careful about what you watch on T.V. and what you read. We can easily be discontented and wish that the fairy-tale lives we watch and read about were our own. Listen to music that is peaceful and God-honoring. Write notes of encouragement to those who need them. Concentrate on finding the good in others instead of finding fault. Don't listen to other people complain or gossip. Pray for your family while doing your household tasks. Look for ways to improve your homemaking skills. Be thankful for whatever material possessions God has blessed you with. If you have trusted Christ as your Saviour, think of the home He has prepared for you in heaven! Ladies, our attitude sets the tone for our homes. I want my home to be a haven of peace and joy for my family. God has given me the opportunity to show His love to those I come in contact with each day. If we focus on rejoicing, being obvious, casting everything on the Lord, and right thinking, we can have an attitude of gratitude now matter what comes our way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Attitude Check

Do you ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong and you feel like the biggest grump? Are you guilty of complaining or being discontented with your circumstances? You'll probably agree with me that we all have bad attitudes at times. I am constantly exhorting my children to have good attitudes toward others and toward their responsibilities, but I find that I am often guilty of not demonstrating a good attitude myself. What does the Bible have to say about our attitude? Philippians 2:14-15 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" It is my desire as a Christian for others to see the love of Jesus in my life. My light should not only be shining when I'm out in public; it should be shining in my home as well. When my children choose to have a bad attitude about a decision I have made or a task I have assigned, I interpret their attitude as a sign of rebellion. Likewise, when I choose to have a bad attitude, I am rebelling against God's ways. What should my attitude be in my roll as a wife or mother? II Corinthians 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." In context this verse deals with giving to the Lord's work, but it can also be applied to the way in which I care for and attend to my family's needs. We should be cheerful givers of ourselves to those around us. Proverbs 31:13 "She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands." A virtuous woman knows what God desires for her, knows her responsibility according to God's Word, and she follows His will with the proper attitude. She worketh willingly with her hands. The definition of willingly is: with free will; without reluctance; cheerfully; by ones own choice. A cheerful attitude is the difference between a relaxed, enjoyable home and a home with no peace. I want to have a peaceful home! Although I love being a homemaker, it is sometimes a challenge for me to work willingly and cheerfully around the house. How should I respond when a child asks for a cup of water at 2 a.m. or asks me to tie his shoe for the tenth time? What should my frame of mind be as I'm washing the fourth load of laundry for the day or ironing my husband's shirts? How should I feel as I serve 126 plates of food each week to my family? I need to do all of these things willingly. I should serve those around me not just because I have to, but because I want to. The following verse gives us a good guideline for serving others willingly: I Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." How can you glorify God if you are constantly murmuring and complaining, even silently? No matter what you are doing, you are still a light to the world and those in your home. Your attitude can hinder others from trusting God or accepting Christ as Saviour. Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Having a negative attitude is an indication that one is not content with the state one is in. Usually when we complain it is because we would rather be doing something else instead of what is needed. Complaining is a reflection of the heart. How can we be content and have a cheerful attitude? We need to focus on the God of peace! Tomorrow I will continue this thought by looking at God's formula for having a right attitude. As you go throughout the remainder of your day, evaluate your attitude toward your duties and the people around you. We can have victory in this area!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Visitor

This cutie was wandering around in our yard this afternoon without her mommy. The pictures are a bit grainy as they were taken from inside because we didn't want to scare her off. As soon as Mr. C went outside, she took off into the woods. I've seen a white-tailed deer before, but this white-bottomed one was a first!

I'm So Excited!

My lovely 8 year old daughter has been in Florida for the past three weeks visiting her Grandma and Mimi. Today she is coming home!!! Her brother and sisters are very excited and have been saying how much they miss her. It's been fun listening to them be all mushy to her on the phone the last couple of days. I've been telling them to remember how much they've missed her when they are all at each other's throats in a few days! I'm sure we'll have a few little kinks to work out as Shay gets back in to the swing of things with us at home, but I know the Lord will give us wisdom to be gracious as she adjusts to not being the only child once again. The children are busy making "Welcome Home" posters for her this morning. My welcome gift to her is a CLEAN BEDROOM!! While she has been gone I have done a complete decluttering in her room. I won't even begin to describe some of the things I found under her bed; let's just say that she has no problem storing stuff under there! I found one of my old purses that she uses to play dress-up stuffed with a dozen dirty socks! I had been wondering why she didn't have many pairs in her drawer when all of the laundry was washed, but now we know! I took a "before" picture when I was in the middle of rearranging her furniture, but I can't locate it on my computer. Well, you'll just have to use your imagination! Trust me, it was an absolute mess! I was tempted to paint the walls while the room was torn apart, but I decided that I needed to paint the bathroom first, since that is on my July projects list (today is the 18th--I don't think it's gonna happen this month, although I have purchased the paint). So, "Welcome Home, Shay-Shay!" P.S.to Shay- If I keep finding clothes and foreign objects under your bed, you're going to start sharing a room with your sisters!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What a Guy!

Mr. C surprised me with these flowers when he came home from his study late Saturday night. I was so busy running around getting things ready for Sunday that it took me a while to even notice them. Thank you, sweetie!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Blog Tour Of Homes

The curious side of me enjoys seeing how other people's homes are laid out and decorated. Some of you bloggers have tremendous talent in the domestic arts! Today I read over at Tammy's Times that BooMama is hosting a Blog Tour of Homes on Friday, July 28th. Sounds like fun! You can read the guidelines here. I'll look forward to seeing your homes on the Tour!

Egg Rolls

Since reading Mrs. R's post on making egg rolls (scroll down the link for her recipe), I have been scouring the shelves at the grocery stores in town looking for egg roll wrappers. I have found won ton wrappers, but all of the stores have been out of egg roll wrappers. This morning I was finally able to procure some at Wal-Mart. I followed Mrs. R's instructions and used a FryDaddy deep fryer to cook them. I was very pleased with how they turned out. My 4 year old was not impressed, but the other children enjoyed dipping theirs in ketchup and mustard (go figure!) instead of using soy sauce. I used a small bag of cole slaw and was able to make 10 egg rolls. I froze the leftovers and plan to make a big batch soon to keep in the freezer. Cost to buy 20 store-bought frozen egg rolls: $10.00 Cost to prepare 20 homemade fresh egg rolls: $5.00

The Kitchen Is Finished!

I spent my cleaning time on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday organizing the pantry and cabinets. My kitchen zone tasks for this month have been completed, and I'm working on next week's plan for Zone 3. I have 5 rooms that are a part of Zone 3, so I will be tackling a project in one room each day. I was able to gather a few flowers from the yard before the heat could get to them!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday's Favorites

Since I have spent this week doing detailed work in the kitchen, I thought I would share one of my favorite things in the kitchen that makes its home on top of the cabinet. The plaque below was handpainted by a sweet lady in our church. She presented it to me as a housewarming gift when we moved here. The quote is so cute and reads: "If you came to see me, you are welcome, but if you came to see my house, Make An Appointment!" I must admit, I sometimes feel that way!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hot Dog!

Buddy, our miniature schnauzer, enjoyed a romp outside today in 91 degree heat. I thought he looked so cute afterward as he tried to cool off. I'm sure he's thankful for his summer haircut!

A Fabulous Find

As many of you know, my dear husband Mr. C is a Baptist preacher. If you are married to a preacher, you will very likely understand why Mr. C is always on the lookout for one more Bible to add to his collection. A few days ago Mr. C located a beautiful brown Cambridge Cameo Wide- Margin KJV Bible with a water buffalo calfskin binding at an online bookstore. It had been sitting around somewhere for over 28 years. These are very rare Bibles and are increasingly difficult to come by. The Bible was located in Oregon, but it amazingly made its way to our home in less than 48 hours (this must be a new record for the good 'ole USPS). Mr. C was very impressed with the condition of this Bible, and he was thrilled with the price, which was remarkably below what the seller could have gotten for it. He mentioned something about it passing it along to me when my Bible wears out, but that won't happen for quite a while since he gave me a brand new burgundy wide-margin Bible this year for my birthday. What a sweet guy! It is the first wide-margin Bible that I have owned, and I have found it so helpful to have plenty of room in the margin to write notes from sermons and Bible studies. If you are an avid note taker and are always running out of room, a wide-margin Bible may be just what you need!
Psalm 12:6-7 "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Mr. C's latest treasure.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

When you feel discouraged with all that is going on the world, remember this verse: Job 19:25 "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:" Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday's Zone 2 Task

Today I completed several cleaning tasks in the kitchen. I filled the sink with hot, soapy water and thoroughly washed the countertops, cabinet fronts, and appliance fronts. I also did a quick wipe down of the counter appliances and canisters. I used an old toothbrush and a little Comet cleanser to scrub the crevices around the faucet and sink drain. I finished by shining my sink!

Together Time

A few days ago my dear husband watched the rest of the children while I took my 2 year old daughter Bryn (pronounce the y as a short i) with me to the mall. She sang contentedly during the 70 mile trip. While we were at the mall, I took my time browsing, and I let Bryn do some looking, too. Usually I am in such a hurry and a little frazzled when I take all four of the children shopping with me, so I decided to just relax and enjoy this special outing with Bryn. I let her push the stroller as we traversed the mall, and it was a lot of fun seeing things through her eyes and taking the time to really stop and answer her questions. We ate lunch at the food court, and we dined at a little kid-sized table. We spent about 3 hours at the mall, and Bryn was a pleasure to be with. Now, usually we have to stop constantly while shopping to deal with all kinds of little problems and tantrums, but on this particular day the problems were non-existent. Instead of me busily doing exactly what I wanted to do, I took the time to let my daughter be an active participant in our activity. It may have taken me longer to complete my shopping trip, but our bond was strengthened during the time together. What did I learn from our shopping excursion? I need to slow down and spend more individual time with each of my children cultivating our relationships. They each have special talents and interests that get pushed aside as I stay busy with routine responsibilities and commitments, and I tend to neglect spending "down time" with the kids just doing fun things. I believe there is a correlation between my attitude toward my children and my attitude toward spending time with the Lord. When I spend more time in prayer and Bible reading, my heart is softer toward my family, and I have a greater desire to spend more time with them. I hope that my children will grow up remembering that Mommy looked forward to spending time with them individually. They are so precious!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday's Zone #2 Task~ Diving Under the Sink

Before

After Today I decluttered the accumulated stash under the kitchen sink. I store my bread machine, plastic grocery bags, and a few cleaning supplies in this cabinet which has a child-proof lock on it. The rest of my cleaning supplies are stored in the laundry room where they are safely out of the reach of little hands. In the After photo you will notice a water jug that has been converted into a container for storing plastic grocery bags (which find a multitude of uses in our home). If you have any suggestions on how to create a more attractive container to serve this purpose, please pass your idea along!

In the Kitchen

This week I am spending extra time on cleaning projects in the kitchen. Today I focused on thoroughly cleaning the stovetop and microwave, which took less than 5 minutes. I am thankful to be blessed with a radiant stovetop; I never enjoyed cleaning the drip pans on a traditional stovetop. An easy tip for cleaning the microwave is to fill a microwaveable container 1/2 full with water, place it in the microwave, and turn it on for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, leave the container in the microwave an additional 3-5 minutes. When you open the microwave, the steam will have losened any hardened food and all that is necessary is a quick wipe-down. You can also use a water-soaked sponge in the microwave and follow the above steps. The sponge will be very hot after it has been microwaved, so use caution when removing it. This method will also sanitize the sponge!

Friday, July 07, 2006

My New Toys

I've been using Clinique ever since I started wearing makeup as a teenager. Lately I just haven't felt like my makeup is doing the trick anymore. Could it have anything to do with the fact that I turned 30 a few months ago??? I'm not one to fuss a whole lot with my makeup, but I do feel that if the barn needs a little paint, then paint it! Seriously, even though I'm at home most of the day with my sweet blessings, I do think that it is important to look my best when Mr. C pops in during the day. After doing a bit of research, I decided that I would try Bare Minerals. The company offers a money-back guarantee, so what do I have to lose? (My sanity, perhaps.) My much-anticipated box arrived in the mail a few days ago. I felt like a little girl on Christmas morning when I opened it up and saw all of the goodies inside. I have always wanted a nice set of makeup brushes, and this set has every brush known to mankind! I watched the instructional DVD and had a little makeup party with myself one evening after the kiddos went to bed. It will probably take a few days to get the application technique down, but it is not that complicated. Yesterday I decided to put Bare Minerals to the hurry-or-we'll-be-late, get-the-kids-dressed, get-a-head-start-on-lunch, teach-Sunday-school, be-back-to-church-at-night, busy-busy-busy-day test. On Sunday morning, I scheduled a little more time into my morning routine to apply my makeup, but it didn't take much longer than when using my previous makeup. I usually do not wear eyeliner, but the Bare Minerals eye liner powder was so easy to apply after mixing it with a bit of water. Despite a busy day and warm temperatures, my makeup was still looking pretty fresh 10 hours after applied. I didn't even have a shiny nose! I did a quick touch-up before heading back to church last night. So far I am really enjoying Bare Minerals as it assists me in looking my best.

Friday's Zone Task~ Dust Duty!

Yes, those are real deer antlers you see on my chandellier! For my last day in Zone 1, I did a thorough dusting of the ceiling, baseboards, and light fixtures in the entry and dining room. I usually just use a soft-bristled broom to get up into the ceiling corners. I used my ostrich feather duster to get all the dust bunnies that had found a home above my dining table on the antlers--yuck!! I draped an old sheet over the dining table to keep the table from getting showered upon with dust. All I had to do then was shake the sheet out and throw it in the wash. Next month I think I will do this chore on the first day I am in the dining room zone instead of doing it at the end of the week. Who wants all of that dust floating down when the table and chairs have already been polished and the floor has already been mopped??? I learned something new today! I hope you have enjoyed working your way through the front porch, entry, and dining room this week. I'll begin tackling the kitchen on Monday!

Thursday's Zone Task~ What's Lurking in the Closet???

Today I dove into the entry closet the do some decluttering. Our winter coats were still hanging there despite daily temperatures currently in the low 90's. I culled through and set aside a few coats to pass on to another family. I folded the remaining coats and put them in a large storage container that will be stored in the attic. Our trenchcoats are just going to have to stay in the closet! I removed the boxes that contain my gift wrapping supplies and vacuumed thoroughly. Next, I organized the small electronics and extra gift items that are on the shelves. I located some Valentine decorations that I bought on clearance at Wal-Mart back in February! I moved them out into their appropriate box in the shed. Now I have plenty of storage space available in the closet, and coats aren't falling on the floor every time the closet door is opened.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wednesday's Zone Task~ In the Dining Room

Wednesday's challenge was to wipe down the walls and clean the windows in the dining room. Before washing the baseboards I brushed them off with a small broom to remove the doggy hair and dust that seems to accumulate so quickly. I moved the baker's rack away from the wall so that I could really dust behind it. This is the first home I have ever lived in that has double-hung windows, so I was able to clean the outside part of the windows from the inside--how nice! In Florida we had Miami windows, which were just one step up from jalousie windows, and they were near impossible to clean! Today's task took about 30 minutes. I'll post some pictures from the dining room at the end of the week.

Cream Cheese Cookies

Tammy over at Tammy's Times is having a cookie swap, so I thought I would submit one of my favorite simple cookie recipes. Mr C loves these cookies! I usually make a batch every week for him to deliver to new visitors we've had at church. Enjoy!!
Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday's Zone Task~ Putting It All Away

On Tuesday before we left for our 4th of July picnic, I spent five minutes tidying up the "hot spots" in the entry and dining room. These two rooms are usually kept up because they are the rooms that are seen upon entering the front door and back door. This was a pretty easy task! In the dining room I replaced the seat cusions that had been removed by the children at breakfast. This is usually part of their morning chores, but I did it for them so that everyone would be ready to hit the road in a timely manner. I swept the entry and watered the plants, and I was done!

Monday's Zone Task~Tidying the Front Porch

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am diligently working on maintaining the zones in my home during the month of July. I began on Monday by focusing on the front porch. We have been experiencing a drought lately, so most of my front porch plants have withered away. I began my decluttering by removing the hanging baskets and their dead occupants. I used a broom to brush down all of the dust and cobwebs that had accumulated. I decided not to hang any new plants until later in the summer when it's not so hot and dry. I hung a windchime my mother had given me on one of the hooks. I pruned back a vine that has a tendency to wrap its little tendrils around the rocking chairs. Next, I thoroughly swept off the walls, rocking chairs, and deck. My final touch was to wipe down the front door. My front porch is now dust-free and inviting once again. Now if it would only cool off a bit so that we can enjoy it!

The 4th

Our family enjoyed the day with some friends in north Georgia. We loaded up the kids and made the 2 hour drive up into the mountains. My 6yo asked if there was any snow on top of the mountains, and I told him, "not today." It was close to 90 degrees LOL! We had a nice BBQ picnic with our friends. We headed for home late in the afternoon. Our community had its fireworks celebration on Monday night at the Ritz~Carlton. We parked our car and walked about 2 miles to see the fireworks. Our sweet little ones did not even complain about the long walk! I got quite a workout pushing the stroller. It was worth it, though, to see the children enjoy the loud, colorful display.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Thank God For America

Thank God for America!
Thank God for country blessed.
Thank Him for the passing years,
Through which it has progressed.
Thank God for the privilege
Of living where I'm free.
Thank Him for the rights of all,
For precious history.
Thank God for this land of ours,
Where precious things abound;
Where the right to happiness
And worshipping is found.
Thank God for the home I love,
The right to speak and hear.
Thank God for America!
I'm glad He placed me here.
~ Cora M. Owen

Saturday, July 01, 2006

5 Things

Tori at A Home Away From Home was so kind to tag me with the "5 Things" meme. 5 Things in My Refrigerator: strawberry yogurt 1 watermelon~ chilling for picnic orange juice leftover chicken casserole decaffinated sweet green tea 5 Things in My Closet: pair of white Clark's sandals bought on vacation (my new favorites) croc. leather handbag (a gift from my sweet mom) winter coat fuzzy slippers western boots 5 Things in My Purse: hand sanitizer makeup cell phone baby wipes tissues 5 Things in My Car: car seat missing toys foldable booster chair (for use when dining out) Patch the Pirate CDs sunglasses This meme has been everywhere, but if you like you may consider yourself tagged! Just post in the comments and I will visit your blog!

July Projects

I will be working on several projects during the month of July: 1.) potty-train my 2 year old--- (oh, my!) 2.) reorganize the kitchen cabinets and pantry 3.) de-clutter the children's bedrooms 4.) paint the children's bathroom 5.) create our fall schedule for homeschooling 6.) complete the zone cleaning task each day If anyone can tell me how I can cross through an item on my blog as I accomplish a project, please let me know. What projects/goals do you have for this month?

July Challenge

During the month of July I am going to follow the daily zone tasks sent out by FlyLady. My home is already broken down into zones, and I have all of the zones listed in my Household Notebook, which is based on FlyLady's control journal. With the help of my dear children our house is maintained daily and looks quite nice, but I'm hoping to get to some of those tasks that I have put off doing for far too long. I will be working in my zones on weekdays only; Saturdays and Sundays are for my family and the Lord, so I won't be doing any serious cleaning or organizing on those days. If you haven't developed a cleaning routine for your home, my July Challenge will be great for you!

Do You Know FlyLady?

I'm sure many of you are very familiar with FlyLady and her system of routines for keeping your home out of C.H.A.O.S. (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). I joined FlyLady's bandwagon almost 6 years ago-- I cannot believe it's been that long ago! Prior to developing a set of routines for keeping my home clutter-free and clean, housekeeping tasks were a never-ending burden. At the time I had two small children and was up to my ears in laundry and toys. Meal planning was non-exisitent. My house only looked really nice if I knew I had company coming over. I signed up for FlyLady's e-mails and got serious about following her plan. It worked!! Now six years later, I have 4 children, more laundry than ever, a bigger house to clean, and homeschooling to add to the mix. I have forgone FlyLady's web site because I have all of my zones and routines memorized. I don't need the charts and lists like I used to. My house is not perfect and I still have too much "stuff" in it, but it does stay presentable and maintained on a day-to-day basis. My children are now able to do so much around the house, and that is such a blessing to me! I have spent the last couple of months training them on specific chores (more on that in a later post). However, while I have been focusing more on chores for the children I have neglected some of the tasks that is doesn't hurt to skip once or twice but will catch up with you if neglected for a long period of time. I'm working on a challenge for the month of July. I think FlyLady will have something to do with it!

Something Special for Me

The ladies at our church were so gracious to give me a bag full of goodies on Anniversary Sunday at our church. Included in the bag were some Bath & Body Works products, a new book by one of my favorite Christian authors, and a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure. I feel so blessed to be a pastor's wife and to have a wonderful group of ladies who treat me so well!
 
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