Thursday, November 21, 2013

Worlds Worst Homemaker

Confession: While I LOVE being home with my children and I ADORE menu planning, organizing, some good home preschool, etc. I'm truly a LOUSY with a capital L, Homemaker. In the sense of orderly, tidy, clean living... I fail time and again. 

For example, even with a brand spankin' new dishwasher... I still have dishes in my sink. 
Laundry, never done recently.
Bed left unmade for like the 8900'th day. 
Clutter. Don't even ask. 

It's not that I want to live in a perpetual mess, it's that lately I'm so distracted and it seems everything else is so much more exciting or important. But, what I'm learning is that to my husband a tidy home is in his top 3 things of "needs". So while it's not my favorite or even the most enjoyable - if it blesses him and shows him love, I can handle it. One broken crayon piece at a time... (ugh). 

How about you? What are you doing today to bless your husband and make his load lighter? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Through the lens - My family.

I'm always amazed at the skill of photographers. Every year without fail I have at least one child who refuses to comply with family pictures - even with bribes and let's be honest, threats. This year was no different, though, I was suprised at who the nocompliant one was. Normally my biggest girl gives the biggest stink but this year the naughty award goes to this little pumpkin pie - my August. Without further ado, this years photos.

The plan was to have each girl by themselves posing by our lovely back fence. August needed me in her pictures, however. Looking at them now - I'm thrilled about it. This so sums up our relationship. She needs me and I love still having a tiny one. While we didn't get any smiles I still think she's pretty cute.

And our big girl was a rock star! I'm still smiling just thinking about how much she enjoyed this years pictures! My heart hurts when I realize she turns 5 NEXT MONTH. Where, my child, have the years gone?

And, the love of my life... 8 years, 2 states, multiple apartments and houses, 3 babies (one with Jesus), too many cars, so much fun. My partner in crime and on this adventure. And, we are both in our 30's now. Weird.

My family - wow, am I a blessed woman!

Thank you to Pence Photography for a quick and wonderful mini-shoot this month! We are so thankful for these memories to cherish forever!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday {from my NEW home}

Happy Monday, ya'll! It is a beautiful Monday here in Iowa and I am loving the blue skies, crisp breeze, and the few last remaining yellow leaves hanging on for dear life. Mid November is sweet and I so hope your day is sweet as well. Pull up a chair and let's chat all things Homemaking on this Sunny Monday. 

As I look outside my window:::
BLUE skies, windy day blowing the neighbors American flag, one remaining bright red leafed tree, lots of sunshine.

Right now I am:::
Taking a bloggy break to sit down, finish my coconut cream pie coffee and rest. The girls are napping and when I'm done its time to tackle the toy room. (sigh)

Thinking and pondering:::
So many friends going through the terrible pain of miscarriage right now. Devastating. Remembering my own loss and reliving the memories - praying on how I can best minister to these sweet ladies and show them the HOPE in Christ, risen and living.

On my bedside table:::
Sheparding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp.

On my tv tonight:::
No tv tonight. Have prayer meeting and ballet for the little girl :)

Playing on the radio:::
Christmas tunes all day!

On my to do list:::
Reorganize and pack up the toy room, too many toys!
Plan out a cookie swap for church friends.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Nothing right now

My simple pleasure:::
Finishing this cup of coffee and Christmas music.

Lesson learned the past week:::
How much loss seems to be amplified during the holiday season, but how close the Lord is to us.

Looking around the house:::
Scentsy melting something yummy smelling, toys here and there, cleaned up kitchen thanks to sweet friends who came for lunch!

From the camera:::
The amazing Pence Photography did a GREAT job catching our fam in front of the new place.

(never mind hubby's weird face here...)

On my prayer list:::
Friends struggling, raising my strong willed almost 5 year old, hubby ministry things. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday and the start of a wonderful weekend! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite things lately and I'd love to hear what makes your life simpler, or just more enjoyable, as well. 

Health & Beauty
Carmex has this wonderful healing cream that I promise you DOES THE JOB. After handwashing all our dishes for about a month my hands were cracking and red and itchy all the time. I was given this lotion and it is wonderful. It makes me hands so silky smooth, I keep some by my bed for before I fall asleep. 

For the Home:
Pic found on Google
THIS scent... ah. :) It was a whopping $3.97 at Walmart and smells just so so great - a mix of Christmas and comfort. I burn it near our fireplace and you can pick up just enough of the "fireplace" smell, so it works. And at that price - I'll take it! Also, for under $4 you can afford to try the other GREAT scents BHG has come out with. I also love this one in my scentsy pod - it is delish and lasts alllll day just melting away. 

Christmas movies! Our church library had scores of them and I checked out several. :) Including:

And... one of my faves.

Now, I never said they weren't cheesy or maybe just plain silly. But, I'm a Hallmark movie loving kind of girl, so they are up my cheese alley. :) Speaking of cheese - Hallmark is doing their Holiday movies now through Christmas so I'm enjoying that channel during sleepy evenings after kids are asleep. 

Food & Drink:

The red cups are back. I know the 'Bucks has may naysayers, but you cannot say they don't have THE best Eggnog latte around! It's on my Fave's list right now - which is weird because I've never liked it before. :) 

Panera's Broccoli cheddar soup. Oh man, I want to go to there right now. 
We had this for my hubby's birthday lunch and I've been dreaming about more ever since. 
Only, please serve mine in a bread bowl WITH chips dunked down inside. (anyone else do that?!) I so wish I could nail a copy cat recipe at home, but then again, we might have it every weekend. 

Favorite pins on Pinterest:
DIY Craft: Stylish Pinecone Decorations - Bubbly Branches
Easy and cozy ornament ideas.

snowflakes with detail.
Considering a cookie swap this year, reallly wanna try some "perfect" icing! 

Possibly my dining room table centerpiece for December. 

This made me cry this week. It has been a STRUGGLE raising a certain strong willed girl who makes me feel this big. Love the truth that GOD is who we need and want our kids to see! 

So, how about you, friend? What are some of your favorite things right now? Wishing you a wonderful and cozy weekend wherever you are. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stay At Home Mom

It's been the kind of laid back day that I think all homemakers can enjoy. My girls slept in this morning and we had a calm morning of cartoons, crafts, and then a quick trip to the grocery store for baking supplies. I even managed a cup of HOT pumpkin spice coffee during the morning hours. Well, all but the last 1/4c but who's counting? :)

Then, it was baking time. Ahhhh, how I so enjoy it. Mixing and creating and zesting, chopping, churning, to my hearts delight. It's such a great feeling to create something delicious for the ones you love - especially autumn treats, like my Cranberry-Walnut bars. Oh yum are they delish! Buttery, nutty, tangy cranberry-ness all in one bar. They are cooling now and I'm fighting to keep myself away from them until tomorrow. It's one of my FAVORITE fall treats.

Now, to remind you that it's not all bliss and baking - here's a peek at what I have been working on the ENTIRE afternoon while the girls napped. Laundry. I have never been a fall behind on the laundry type of gal, but for some reason I cannot get things whipped into shape around here. I have MOUNDS of clean clothes just waiting to be folded and put away. Am I alone in this? Where you get it all clean but then use your laundry baskets as makeshift dressers until they are dirty again? Bah. I even used one of my huge Vera duffels as a basket today because there is SO much. Who is wearing all of these clothes?! We have so much to be thankful for. Good thing laundry is one of my fave chores.

The ambiance today is calm and relaxed and I just love these days. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom with my children. It's not always calm and easy, actually, it's been really difficult lately. So I'm especially grateful for days like today with yummy smells and clean laundry and sleeping children. It helps to have John Tesh playing Christmas music in the background and Better Homes and Gardens new Fall scents melting in my scentsy pot smelling all yummy too.

Finding the beauty in the every day...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Frost on the Roses

I woke up early today - before the sun was up, but not before our little "pet" finches outside were serenading us. :) White, thick, frost was covering everything. For a moment I was giddy as I thought maybe it was the first snow! And though it wasn't - how beautiful it looked - all our neighbors homes with white capped roofs and cars, all the leaves in the yard with that beautiful crystal etched look. Just another reason I so enjoy this season! I could go on and on.

I'm still learning all the features on my camera but one of my favorites is the Macro mode. I can literally stand in my home and take awesome, up close, pics of anything outside. Which, I especially loved on this cold morning. My huge rose bushes were sugar coated in frost this morning and just so stunning! While I was too late to catch any good frost pics - I'm still just amazed at how gorgeous they are after a quick melt. And that they are still budding and growing is beyond me. Simple beauty to remind me of my wonderful creator and His love for me. 

It's a Thursday full of housework and projects and I'm counting it all joy that before it all gets started I got to peek at this pretty scene. Happy Thursday, friends! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's a day for...

The weather is cooler and most of the leaves have now fallen. 
Autumn is in her full glory with colors and scents. 
Chimneys are smoking and winter coats are pulled out of the closets. 

It's a day for making leaf piles with friends. 
And, Momma whipping up a special treat.

It's a great day for family and love and all things at home. :) 
Greetings from Iowa! We'd love to see you at our front door soon!