Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Joyful, cheerful, and full of zest
Ordinary can not confine her or keep her from
Reaching for the heavens she is a

Daughter of God
Any obstacle can not stop her achieving
New and better things in this life

She scrubs floors better than I do!

Jordan this past Saturday, ready to leave for her last summer at Camp Dry Gulch

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday - The Kids' Room

I have only one item on my to do list for today. Ok, two, since it is important to make sure the kids get fed today. But today I will tackle cleaning out my girls' room.

My oldest is at camp, and will be returning tomorrow. So today is the day to give the room a much belated spring cleaning. We live in a smaller home, and all three girls share the same room. Three girls with all the Barbies, little ponies, accessories, shoes, and clothes means lots of things in one room. I try to stay on top of keeping it some what ordered. And Jordan is learning how to take care of her things.

But it does not take much, like one toy being put in the wrong box, to start a domino chain reaction that leads to total chayos in their room.

So it's time to put everything back in it's place, or find it a new home.

Today the curtain will be taken down and washed. The closet will be emptied, wiped out and re organized, The items that have been shoved under the bunk bed will be dug out and tossed. (If it's been under there, it's been there a while and we haven't missed it.) Stuffed animals will be washed, and most will find a new home. Pencil drawings on the walls will be erased. Clothes will be sorted, rehung, or stored. (I would really love to find where I can purchase clothing rack dividers to help the girls properly put their clothes in their place.) The dresser drawers will be emptied, clothes refolded or hung, and the drawers wiped out.

Yes this will be done today. Nothing can destract me. I am determined to start this and finish it today. Even if I am finishing at 11:59pm it will still be done today.

I would also like to move the bunk beds and the toddler bed so the bunk bed is no longer blocking the window. But we'll see.

I have some before pics. But don't want to get destracted by loading them on the computer to upload them here. I'll post them later.

What is a project that you've been meaning to take on? Is it a big project? Have you been procrastinating because it just seems overwhelming? How many little projects can you break it into? Pick something small that you can do, and do it. Then find something else small to do within the big project, and do it. Keep chipping away at the small things, checking off that to do list, and pretty soon you'll have made noticeable progress on that big mountain!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Garden 06/28/2010

Hubby put up the trellises for the tomato plants this evening.
We planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and sweet potato plants. Planted bean seeds and marigold seeds.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Garden 062210

Pics of updates for the garden.

If watching the progression of us digging in dirt sounds boring to you, there's some links for more great reading to the right.

I wouldn't be offended at all if you clicked one.

No, really I wouldn't.

Monday morning the girls and I spent several hours pulling weeds from the garden space.

This is what it looked like Monday. That's my daughter in the left space earning her camp spending money. Please ignore the naked baby doll lying in the grass.

No I didn't make my daughter clear the one on the right all by herself. I have been known to be a little mean to my kids. But not that mean.

My other two got involved and "helped" too. Helping as in digging in the section already stripped and making mud pies.

This is my little mud pie beauty.

I wasn't going to allow all those little muddy hands and feet inside on my floor. Not that it really would of made a difference if muddy feel walked on my floor, I haven't mopped in two weeks. But it's the principle you know.

So I got smart for once and brought out a basin for them to wash up in first before walking inside.

Rub a dub dub, three girlies in a tub.

Last night we finished double digging that section and added peat moss and compost. I still need to add vermiculite, but could not find any yesterday.

Hubby is handling the shovel. I did do half of this, but I think hubby was afraid I would hurt myself with the shovel, so he took over. He's double digging and Jordan is earning her camp spending money breaking up the clods and picking out roots.

Adding in the peat moss and compost.

Two littles keeping themselves cool with water play and creating a toybox explosion in our yard.

Double digging the end of the first section.

Second section finished as of Tuesday evening, and partially sectioned off. Jordan still earning camp spending money. She looks so thrilled to be out here. :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday - My to do list.

I've got another long list

- Fold ALL the Laundry
- Do ALL the dishes
- Run to Lowes for soil amendments and nails
- Nail 2x4s together to form frame to keep soil from spilling all over yard
- Dig amendments into soil
- Plant some cukes
- Start double digging 3rd plot
- Finish clearing out living room
- Finish re arranging books on new bookshelves
- Make grocery list
- Mop the floor
- Make meal plan and grocery list
- Print out online coupons
- Submit Grocery Order
- Balance Check book
- Assemble Nature Walk Backpacks (didn't get done last week)
- Declutter girls room (that didn't get done last week either)

- And make sure my kids eat today. (That's kind of an important one.)

I'm out of coffee. Can some one please bring me some? I'm still tired from working in the "garden" all day yesterday. Notice I put make grocery list twice on here?

Prayers for my sanity till I can work an emergency trip into the convenience store for some coffee would be appreciated.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reviving the garden..

Did I mention I have a garden? Well, if you can count weeds as a produce, I have a garden. Oh, I do have some strawberry plants, but they ain't producing anything yet.

Early in the year I was determined somewhat determined interested in having a garden. Like I am every year.

I love the thought of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and other good for my family produce, lovingly planted and raised and then expertly prepared cooked if I felt like cooking. I look through seed catalogs every new year and fall prey to the tempting pictures of red, ripe, juicy tomatoes, or mouthwatering watermelon, or cool and crisp cucumbers.

So this year we started on our little garden. As soon as it was warm enough to go outside w/o freezing and we could dig in the soil, we were out there digging in. The kids and I plotted out a spot, got some lumber to make a small frame, and with the hand tools we had dug up the weeds and broke up the sod.

My wonderful hubby even helped out by stripping the sod off a second plot for me. He worked his big muscles he developed working out (he needed an extra workout that day anyway, right?)

We got peat moss and compost, mixed it into the first plot, and planted strawberries.

Then I allowed my ADD to kick in. I got distracted by homeschooling, errands, church activities, and life. So we lost full interest in the garden, and was pushed to the back of my mind/priority list.

It wasn't like the patch was out of site. It was in plain site of the kids swing set. I saw it every day. I just kept pushing off weeding or tending to the garden.

Yes I still have bouts of laziness.

Fortunately we had an abundance of rain so the little patch never went thirsty due to my neglect.

Weeds flourished in the unfinished plot. Mint took over the strawberry patch. The unattended berry plants thrived, had a party, and made lots of little babies by runners.

It was looking like a jungle.

Did I mention I do this every year?

This past week I sat down, had a conference with myself, and we both decided that I'm going to finish what I started for once. I'm going to finish this growing season with a strong garden. And I'm not going to ignore the weeds anymore.

So Saturday I spent several hours outside enjoying a nice cool breeze in the already hot Oklahoma summer digging up the mint and the weeds in the strawberry patch. Then I took shelter in the shade and replanted the mint along the side of the house. I hope it really takes root there and choked out weeds that try to grow.

I came back after the sun had set and it cooled off a bit to thin out the runners and transplant them to where I just dug the mint from.

After several hours work. This is what it looks like now.

My hope is that the transplants will take root, and make more nice strong berry plants. But if not, they needed to be thinned out anyway. And now all the runners have been cut, I expect my original plants to start making berries. Yum!

I'm not showing you the second plot. I'm so ashamed. If there was a Plant and Garden Protective Services I would definitely be reported in if you saw this pic. But all weeds are to be evicted this week. I'm taking advantage of live in slave labor hiring my daughter for some cheap labor. I need a weed free garden and she needs spending money for summer camp. So it's a win win situation in my book!

I don't know why I'm sharing about my weedy garden. I promise I do have more interesting things going on in my life. But maybe I know deep down there is some one else like me out there. Who has a neglected garden too, and is too ashamed to admit it. We could form a sister hood. And we can tell each other we need to be ashamed no longer.

God still loves us, weedy gardens and all. And it's not to late to take the garden back!! We can do it one weed at a time. So to all the sisterhood, pick up your trowels and weeders, go on the offensive, and attack with all your might.

Till we get distracted again.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A guide to having fun on a rainy day:

A kids guide

Play with lots of manipulatives and work on math....
(Jordan's still on the not so fun part)

Help mommy bake bread...

Help mommy clean the kitchen...

Play in nature's splash pad...

Come inside, clean up, have lunch...

Take a nap...

A mom's guide

Do some sewing...

Dear Blog,

I promise I will get back to you today. But first I must bake some bread, and clean the living room, and make yogurt.

I'll be listening to lots of great worship music.

This is one of my new favourites

Be Blessed

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday - Following the list

To do lists.

I use to live by them. Them and my calendar. Back then in the day my kitchen was fairly clean and my life had the semblance of order.

But then Homeschooling became a big priority, and life got busy with all the activites that come along with homeschooling. Support group, co op classes, play days, etc. And my poor to do list became forgotten. My life has been lived spur of the moment, sporatic, and my home became completely neglected.

Oh I was able to keep up with the Mt. Washmore and the dishes, but only because I delegated those to my hubby and daughter.

We've relaxed our schooling for the summer. Only school requirement each day is math. So it's time I got my self more ordered and heading back in the direction I need to go.

It's time to dust off my to do list!

Here's my long list for this week:

scrub kitchen wall
cull books (again)
Make laundry soap
sweep and mop floor
declutter my room - Partially done! Yay!!!
declutter girls room
!Re-organize Home Notebook!
make grocery list
Mop the floor
Make meal plan and grocery list
Submit Grocery Order
Balance Check book

Assemble Nature Walk Backpacks
Cut fabric for play dresses
Finish Joelles dress and start Jordan's dress
Clean and condition saddles
Arrange to pick up toddler bed
Clean and disassemble crib
Call to check on our custom bookshelves

Whew it's a doosey! But doable a little bit a day.

What is a project that you've been meaning to take on? Is it a big project? Have you been procrastinating because it just seems overwhelming? How many little projects can you break it into? Make a list of all the little projects you can do within that big project. Pick something small that you can do, and do it. Then find something else small to do in that big project, and do it. Keep chipping away at the small things, checking off that to do list, and pretty soon you'll have made noticeable progress on that big mountain!

It's a warm day already today, so this afternoon I think we're going to play at the park in the splash play pad. Which means I better get busy this morning!

I hope you have a great day. Work hard so you can play harder later. Or so you can sit back, put your feet up and relax with a good book.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Thrift Store Treasure Finds

I took my 6 bags of stuff to the local thrift store, and the drop off at the back of the building was closed, so I had to bring it through the front door to drop it off. My family went with me, and we did the ultimate no no when dropping things off at the thrift store.... we looked around.

If you really know me, you are probably cringing, because thrift stores and yard sales are really my weakness. But, I WAS VERY GOOD! I found a few finds that I really could use!!

I found a remnant of lace fabric that is the PERFECT size for my kitchen sink window. I've been wanting a real pretty lacy curtain to go there, and have not found the right one. Or if I did find one it was too pricey for my budget. I found this tonight and will use it to make a curtain this weekend. I love it!

I found a heart shape tea light candle holder. I already have two exactly the same, and got this to make it a trio for the bedroom to help with the ambiance. Oooo Lala!

Then Jordan found the Saxon 5/4 Home Study Packet answer key. Jordan is currently in 5/4 math, and already have this answer key. But it is literally falling apart. This one looks brand new, and will be a great replacement.

The best find of tonight though is this.......

Jada found this cute little stroller. I had just thrown away her toy umbrella stroller because it broke this past week This one is an upgrade from the umbrella stroller to say the least. The toy on the stroller actually plays music and lights up! It is so adorable! Jada loved it immediately. She is going to have so much fun pushing her dolly when we go for our walks.

We really got these for a great deal.

Candle holder - $ .13
Fabric - $1.00
Math Answer Key - $ .37
Hubby found a book - $ .50
Stroller - $4.00

My total was less than $7.00 Not bad considering that if I did go buy a toy umbrella stroller at a retail store it would probably cost at least $10.00 new.

Sometimes I let things go for too long...

Like keeping up with my bedroom.

My ideal bedroom would be clutter free, and ready for romance at a moments notice. My realistic bedroom lately has been a stash all for just about anything and everything that can't find a home elsewhere.

The true balance of my ideal and my realistic bedroom is going to have to be a mix of storage for a few essentials that can't go anywhere else, and a refuge for my husband and I furnished with a tea light candle holders spaced throughout. With us being a family of 5 living in a 2BR Mobile home, it's a difficult balance to maintain. And I haven't done a great job maintaining it the past few months being so busy homeschooling and all that goes along with having kids.

Today I decided enough was enough and started taking a bite out of what's taken over my bedroom. My starting point was my clothing wardrobe. This is what it looked like before.

As you can see it's a little atrocious. My wardrobe is loaded down with 2 saddles and horse tack, 2 sewing machines, too many clothes, purses and bags. Underneath I've got my makeup and nail box. To the side is my hot rollers. My wardrobe is so full I can't even close the door, so it remains open full time and looks like it just exploded.

It was time for me to strictly enforce the "If you don't love it or use it, get rid of it!!!" de cluttering rule.

First thing was to find a new home for the saddles and tack. These saddles were from when my sister and I had our own horse and pony, and I rescued them from the mud daubers in the old barn on the place we used to live in.

My oldest daughter LOVES horses, as did I when I was her age. I still really love horses and my life long dream is to have horses again. Our goal in the next year is to get Jordan involved in 4H Horse club, and hopefully a horse of her own.

The saddles are still in good condition so they can be used when we have access to a horse, and do have some sentiment. So I'm making an exception and keeping them, stored in a large storage tub in my closet.

After cleaning off the top, I wiped down the whole wardrobe with a damp cloth to dust, and then polished it with Old English Lemon oil.

Next was cleaning out the inside of the wardrobe.

My two sewing machines went up top so I can get to them easier, and use them more often. I got a clear plastic medium size tub and put inside the fabric for my current sewing project, my sewing notebook, and sewing machine manuals. On top of that I stacked the tackle box I use as my sewing notions box.

On to thinning out all the clothes. I had the "I have tons of clothes but can't find anything to wear" situation. I had bunches of clothes, but they were either outgrown, out dated, or not matched to an outfit. Lately my normal everyday outfit has been jean and a t shirt or work out capris and a t shirt, because "I have nothing to wear!"

In all, I purged 6 grocery sack of clothes from my wardrobe. Can you believe that many clothes even fit in there? My winter coat, 1 dress I swear I will wear next year, and my Christmas dress were hung in the main bedroom closet. Everything else was hung on hangers or put back in drawers.

With the bottom of my wardrobe cleared out, I was able to put my make up caboodle, manicure tools caboodle, and my hot rollers inside the wardrobe.

I thinned out my purses, and put the ones I am keeping in my suitcase which slid underneath the wardrobe.

Yay! I can now fit my clothes inside the wardrobe, and close the door! It looks great all polished and the mirror cleaned. Plus the lemon oil makes the room smell good.

One thing I love about this antique wardrobe is the bar my clothes hang on pulls out so I can better see what I have to wear. I have hung all my clothes with the hangers facing one way, and will hang them back up hanging the other direction after I wear them. After a time, the ones still facing this way will either be culled and sent to the thrift store or stored for next season.

I didn't get a before picture of my cubby, but it wasn't pretty. Now I have a nice clutter free nook for my jewelry box, lotion, linen spray, and a small tea light candle.

I have much more to do, but so glad I got this done today. It's just a little bit of improvement and progress, but enough keep me motivated for tomorrow!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dress from Butterick 3477 #1

I'm making dresses for each of my three girls this week.

Here's the dress for my 2yo almost finished except for the hem.

I used Butterick's #3477 pattern.

I found the pattern mostly easy to follow. There were only 4 pattern pieces for this dress, but the directions seem to be lacking a bit. It was a big time consuming, but I'm also not a frequent sewer and it took me a bit to run back and forth till I had everything out of the storage cabinet I needed.

I didn't get the shoulder ties exactly perfect. I thought I marked the reference circles exactly right, but a tie on one corner appears to be off it's mark. Also they seem kind of narrow to me. The next dress I make from this pattern I think I will go with a 1/2" seam for the straps.

The bodice/skirt seam was a little tricky for me. Dresses with gathered skirts are adorable on little girls, but definitely time consuming for an intermediate novice like myself. Here's a good tutorial at Jump up and Down on How to Make Ruffles that can be used for gathering skirts as well.

The instructions call for a slip stitch to cover the skirt/bodice seam allowance with the bodice lining, but I must of messed up somewhere because there wasn't enough of the lining seam allowance to cover the skirt seam allowance. The result I thought left seam look a little raggedy and messy on the inside. But then I found a Hong Kong finish at Gigi Sews and used it to cover the seam allowance.

I think it really helped to clean up the look on the inside.

Overall I like this pattern. It took me most of an evening and a few hours this afternoon to get it cut out, assembled, and finished. But the result is a very cute dress.

This is why I don't sew as often as I'd like. My kitchen gets taken over, and my laundry is neglected. I know my hubby loves me because he puts up with this for a few days at a time.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Tonight I'm working on my dear 2yo's dress. The pattern called for "Understitching" a seam which is a stitch technique I am not familiar with. So I looked it up on YouTube and found this great short video demonstrating how to Understitch a seam.

I absolutely love You Tube. I learn something new every day!

Getting ready to sew..

To get in the mood to sew it usually takes reading through a few blogs and websites for some inspiration. Even though I already have the fabric and patterns picked out.

Here's a few I really enjoy or found some information from. As I find more I'll post them later.


Blogs and Websites:

Mommy time

We've been extremely busy the past few month. As you can tell!

I have gotten lost in mommy hood. And have let my kids schedule get a little crazy with all the play days, lessons, field trips, etc. Plus keeping up with my own commitments volunteering at church and taking care of my nephew.

The past few weeks I have left very little time for myself. I have to admit I look a little frumpy, dumpy, and probably am not very sweet! I'm in bad need of a long shower, shave, eyebrow/face wax, pedicure, and manicure. I also am in need of nuturing my inner self.

So today I'm taking time back for myself. I have no social obligations, and nothing on my schedule. And it's staying that way. My hubby is home today, so he's going to have primary obligation of taking care of the girls today.

My to do list for today is:

Drink lots of coffee with flavored creamer
Read a book
Have a good long soak in the Word of God
Take a LONG shower
Knit on a project
Sew a dress that I bought fabric for BEFORE EASTER
Bake some bread
Make some more yogurt

I'm going to do every single one of them, and not feel a bit guilty about it.

Yes we need to keep our husband, family, and home a priority. But if we don't take time for ourselves and to nurture ourselves, we loose ourselves and our identity in that priority.

One day my kids will be grown. They will leave the nest. And it would be tragic for me to be here alone and wondering "what should I do now?"

It's important for me to continue to work on my interests and grow in my life with God. So I can be refreshed and sharpened to take care of the priorities.