A couple other things…

We found some material for the kitchen window! Because of the width and the look I was going for, I made a real valance instead of doing a mistreatment. I’ve been enjoying sewing lately, so it was actually fun to put this together. (I’m not thrilled with either of the pictures, but the second one does a bit better job of showing the colors in the fabric – it’s actually more green than gold when you see it in person.)

I recently got our family picture frames up in the hall, and today I ordered some pictures printed. Jonathan picked them up, and I was pleased to get some updated pictures of the kids on the wall. I was also pleased to leave the non-updated picture of my man and I. There’s nothing like wedding pictures for pretending you haven’t changed in the last 14 years… 🙂

Christmas Bookcases

My beloved Bubba Eric and dear sis-in-love Beka gave us a generous gift of Christmas money when Beka and the Cousins visited in December. We decided to use it for materials to make bookcases for our Reading Nook. And at last, I have pictures of both shelves to post!

Today, I mistreated the window so our little Nook would look more finished. The little rocker is in dire need of re-finishing, but that’s a project for another day. So is establishing some sort of order to the books.

We’d like to add another bookcase eventually, but these two, plus the older shelf on the right, made it possible for me to finish unpacking almost all of our book boxes (there are quite a few books in our room, plus two bookcases that don’t show in these Nook pictures).

We are excited about and really enjoying our Reading Nook. Thank you, Byrds, for the lovely shelves! And thanks, Dad and Mom Smith, for helping us put them together!

A Project

Jonathan purchased some additional shelving for our pantry and bathroom last week, and I was thrilled this afternoon when he got them installed for me. Of course, this meant that the task of re-organizing the pantry could no longer be put off!

I forgot a before picture, but here is some of the mess in the middle:

And the new shelves added in to the not-quite emptied pantry:

And a couple of “after” shots:

Lots of work, but glad to have it done. The pantry is more workable for us this way, and the nice thing about these shelving systems is that they are easy to adjust to your needs.

Bargain Chocolate

A couple weeks ago, I dropped by Lowe’s to look at paint colors. We were on our way home from church, and J and the Blessings just read in the van while I ran in.

I got myself a handful of paint “chips” in the color range I had in mind. I’d never browsed the browns section before, but for some reason I have had brown on my mind for this bathroom. About the time I finished gathering paint chips, the paint lady finished up with her customers. C. used to work in the Home Decor department at our Lowe’s (“our” Lowe’s being the one out of which we do most of our install jobs), and we enjoyed getting to know her as we worked with her on installs of blinds and shutters. I think she just might think we’re nice folks, too.

So, I asked C. if they had any “ooops” paint I could look at before I left… just in case. She goes behind the counter and holds up a can of paint. “This one’s only worth about … a dollar this way. It lost its handle, and we’d have to send it back. Want to find a color you like?”

This can of premium paint (usually sold for $20.50) wasn’t even tinted yet! So off I went with my paint chips to the stain department. Why the stain department? Because we have lovely oak cabinets in our bathroom, and finding a brown that neither blends with nor clashes with oak is a bit tricky. Since I didn’t have time to go home and hold all my paint chips up to my cabinets, I found the sample in the stain department that most closely matched them (in my mind’s eye) and used that for color comparison.

Several minutes later, I walked out of the Lowe’s having paid $1.08 for a $20.50 gallon of Belgian Chocolate paint. I was giddy all afternoon with the thrill of the deal!

I got permission this Wednesday from our friends/homeowners to paint the bathroom. Thursday found me busily taping away (because I’m lousy at cutting in), then painting. Though I took pictures along the way, I decided to wait and post the finished product.

For a reminder, my previous nesting attempts in our bathroom are shown in this post.

And here it is now:


(I had to lighten this shot excessively to get the window mistreatment to show)


We’ve talked about framing the mirror, but in the meantime I was inspired to use these sheers (do you remember when we bought them, Mama??) for the mirror and the window.

Input? Constructive criticism? Note: Constructive criticism does not include telling me I’m out of my ever-loving mind to paint my bathroom this color. 🙂

Getting "Stuff Done"

Kolbi asked yesterday how I get all these projects done. My “I have no idea” answer got a little long for the comments section, so I thought I’d turn it into its own post.

Really, I have a lot of questions in this area myself.

I do honestly question sometimes, “how did I get all that done today?” Yesterday, for example… I mended a shirt for Jonathan, cleaned out the bottom of the pantry and brought in all the kitchen/pantry stuff that was still on our front porch, folded laundry, printed/”bound” part of a book for school, sorted/moved a bunch of wood outside, did two silhouettes, etc. And sometime in the late afternoon, my back totally spazzed on me and I’ve been able to move very little without pain ever since. So it’s not like it was a full day.

I also often feel overwhelmed with how much I have on my plate. Mt. Washmore is rarely conquered for more than 1 day out of every 2 weeks (and that just includes Jonathan’s and my laundry, along with towels/sheets/blankets). I have many many boxes left to unpack. My front porch is the picture of “white trash” living. We’re still behind on our homeschooling.

And I question my priorities. Do I really mother my children like I should? Do I spend too much time hiding in my room? Do I let words like “independence” and “responsibility” mask words like “laziness?” When it comes to homemaking, do I have my priorities straight… is it more important to have pretty stuff on my walls and improve my tablescaping skills? Or should I try harder to tackle the piles of stuff on my front porch? And in the bigger picture, do I truly hunger and thirst after the God of my salvation like I say I do? Does the way I spend my time reflect His priorities?

I don’t have answers to all those questions. And really, I’m okay with that. Life is a journey. I’m learning and growing, and my Shepard is infinitely patient and kind. He is also faithful, and He will complete the work He’s begun in me. Woot!

In the meantime, here are some of the things that are working in my favor right now…

Sometimes, I manage to multi-task. For instance, right now, Kate and Grace are beside me, using the dice to practice addition while they move their “guys” around the Jr. Monopoly board. There’s no goal, except to add and move, and they’re loving it.

Also, I try to instill as much independence/responsibility as I can. This comes in many forms. The children supposedly do their own laundry (once they’re old enough), though I still need to keep them on-task in this area, and I often drop the ball. The older four are divided into two teams that rotate dishes/clean-up responsibilities monthly. They generally fend for themselves for breakfast (I want to get better about providing simple and well-rounded food for them for breakfast), and often a couple of the older children put lunch together.

Way too often, though, I forget to multi-task and I forget to have the kids keep up with their end of things. So I just want to clarify that I am NOT Supermom/Superwife! I’m just a woman seeking to follow her Shepard, stumbling often, and always being picked back up. Because HE is the SuperHero. I fail, I fall, I wander. He comforts me, picks me up, and tracks me down when I get lost. And I am unspeakably thankful.

Nesting

We got some wall decor up this last weekend, and though things are not finished, I thought I’d show you some of my progress. Any suggestions are welcome!

Here are the living rooms walls at this point. The shelf on the right is actually a quilt holder, and will be doing its job as soon as I dig out a quilt for it. My dream is to have at least four quilts made especially for that holder, one for each of the seasons. I’d love to have more than that eventually.
The area rug is a beautiful one that Mama bought for me when they were here in November, from the estate sale of a dear Christian lady we knew in St. Louis who has gone home to Glory.

These next two are of another wall in the living room. It needs some additions, but I’m so thrilled with the job I’ve done of covering up the thermostat that I have to share them. The nails holding the sandpainting on the shelf need to be replaced with something less conspicuous, don’t you think? As you can probably tell, this is going to be a Navajo Wall.

And this is the wall of the fireplace that you see when you’re coming down the hall from the Blessings’ rooms and the bathroom toward the kitchen/living/dining areas. It’s become the Precious Moments gallery. Two of these are my work, one (top right) is that of my beloved sis, Beka.

Mistreatment Update

I think I’ve found the method I’m going to use for pulling my mistreatments back during the day. I tacked the middle of the ribbon on the side and did a simple tie (Jonathan let me know it is officially called a “half hitch” – he’s my encyclopedia!) to hold them back.

I actually did a nifty Roman-shade-type-thingy that I liked a lot, but I’ll have to save it for a mistreatment that will be stationary.

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