Archive for the ‘homekeeping’ Category

Tour of homes

So this weekend begins the annual Tour of Homes. It is a tradition. Hubby and I go every year. I have all the tour books to prove it. I think I might be somewhat obsessed with homes. As I was looking through the tour book I was marking down which homes we have to see because I have my favorite builders, you know. I was commenting on how this builders home wasn’t what he normally builds, more traditional when he usually goes for the craftsman look. Then I looked at hubby and realized that I was sick. Sick I tell ya, to actually know this information. What is wrong with me?

Already I found my favorite home. It is a craftsman home with some of my favorite details: subway tile, built ins, enclosed sun room with slate floor, craftsman style fireplace, nooks and crannies, oh and did I say built ins? In fact when we were walking through the house, hubby told me to be quiet. I guess I was ooohing and aaaahing a bit too loudly, and just maybe inadvertently too provocatively.

Then we toured a large (read- 8,000 sf) home for a lot of money (read-2.4 mil). It was like a castle. It had French scene murals at the end of a long hallway with chandeliers above and sconces on the walls. It was big, it was beautiful. Not entirely my style but well done just the same. Oh it also had an indoor built in trampoline. Three stair cases, one rod iron spiral led to the upstairs rooms. Five bedrooms, six bathrooms. The only thing that kept running through my mind is what on earth would we do with all that space? I would have to have like 12 or 14 kids to justify a home that big. I’m not ready for that many kids and a good thing because 2.4 mil isn’t even in my dreams. I know better.

So my question to you is what style home do you dream about? Are you living in it? If not, what little elements can you change to make more like what you dream of.

Our new/old house is a 50’s ranch. It is pretty small by todays standards. It’s ok with me. I like the house and can’t wait to make it my own. I plan on creating a mix of 50’s slightly modern with a cottage look. It’s doable. When we get going on the new house I will take before and afters to show what we have done. Every one likes before and afters right?



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that I would actually enjoy getting up at 6am. Well, the getting up part I still don’t like so much. But when I’m up, I take advantage of my time.  Hubby and I started going for walks first thing. The girls are in bed, and able to stay home alone for short periods of time. They don’t even know we are gone. When we return, I make my coffee, breakfast for hubby and his lunch (usually).  Then I kiss him out the door, sit at the table, open my bible and read. Then I check my emails, and blogs. When that is done I start the morning pick up, empty dishwasher, wake the kids and get them going.  I feel like I have done so much, and hey I have right?  Oh, and somewhere in that time a shower happens. I get the water started on the lawn, plants on porch watered, litter box cleaned and laundry started.  Man, that is productive, the most I think I have been ever this early in the morning. I am a night owl. I love to stay up late. I love to sleep in. I don’t take naps so I have justified sleeping in to get all the sleep I need.  But it isn’t productive and I alway felt behind and frankly, I was.  The warmer and dryer mornings have helped.  Having to get so much done earlier due to the house listing has helped also. It was the only way I could see surviving this time of my life.  God is blessing it.  I am thankful.


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The bed is making a transformation. I will post a picture when it is finished. I found king size shams on clearance on Lands End. I found a bed skirt on sale today and I bought a bolster pillow. The pillow was not on sale but it wasn’t hugely expensive either. I really need a head board but we don’t have time to make one yet. I have this idea (not original) to transform an old panel door into a headboard. We have a recycle place in town that has many many doors to choose from for a good price. I think I may need to get some extra large pillows to prop up the pillows I have to give the head of the bed a boost.

Random thought:

There are three show on tv that I don’t get. I know they have huge followings but I don’t understand why.

1-The Office



edit: to be fair, yes I do have my shows that I love. I am an AI fan.  But my favorite is Men In Trees. I like Numbers too. Other than that I don’t watch much else.  However if I had cable I would be glued to HGTV and the cooking shows.

We are really hoping to warms up and dries up in the NW this weekend. We really need to get those doors painted. Another weekend of work is ahead of us. I am really hoping for a little vacation when this is all over. Luckily we don’t have to worry about the yard. Why, you ask? Because I hired a company to come this week and beautify it and boy does it look great and we are both giddy with excitement that we don’t have to do all that work, and for those of you who have been to my house you know how BIG our yard is.

I just finished reading aloud a history book to the girls and hubby when he is around during reading time. (sometimes I read in the afternoon, sometimes at the dinner table). It is called Madeleine Takes Charge and it is fabulous. The girls would beg me to read and not stop. It is about the French and Indian wars and about a young girl who takes charge while her parents are away. She becomes a heroine and in Quebec there stands a statue in her honor. Amazing story! I love historical fiction.

Have a great weekend!


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King Size bed

I need help. As I look at my made up bed, I realize it is missing something. It just doesn’t quite have that department store look. We have two king size pillows with regular pillow cases on them. We have standard pillows with pillow cases also; these are the ones we sleep on. The king pillows get thrown on the floor. I don’t have euro pillows or shams. What can I do to make the bed look nicer, more polished? Any great ideas?


edit: if you scroll down you will see a photo of my bed.

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What a busy day. We got all the sanding done on the kitchen cabinets. We need to get a bathroom sink installed in the morning before we continue in the kitchen.  Then the kitchen sink comes out because we need to replace the counter tops, and then the painting can start. It doesn’t look like my kitchen will be back together by tomorrow evening. So it is fast food, paper plates and cups for a while.  We had to return the bathroom sink because it was faulty.  When we returned it we found out that product had been discontinued (I can see why) and they didn’t have any left.  So I went to another store and they had just one left and it was 1/2 off.  So just when I am feeling like “why can’t anything be easy”, the Lord provides in a special way. Now, I need to go find some chocolate, because the easter eggs I bought for the girls baskets are gone and yes I ate every single one of them.


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Training kids is hard work

Oh My Goodness. I FINALLY got a working schedule, thanks to my hubby who knows more about those things than I do. I have a different schedule for each day of the week because we have different activities each day of the week. It starts at 7am and goes until 10:30pm. I have in my schedule school, chores, outside activities, meals, and free time. I put a copy of it on my clip board, add any other things I need to do, like calls to make, emails to send and to do’s that day that is not on the schedule. If I don’t get those things done, I will transfer them to the next day. All and all I feel pretty proud of this new completed schedule. There was sweat and a few tears in creating it but now that it is done I can relax. NOT!

Now the hardest part comes. I actually have to DO the schedule. What was I thinking? Staying on task is hard for me to do. Self discipline? Don’t have much of it. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Now I have this schedule that tells me what to do and when. Now if it is hard for me to stay on task, imagine how difficult it is to keep my kids on task. Oy! It is so easy to tell them to do something, walk away and expect them to get it done. Does that happen? Only in my dreams. It is much more difficult to tell them to do something and then stick with them until they get it done. I have to let go of my agenda and follow them around and prod and steer them in the right direction until it gets done. Then I have to give them lots of encouragement on a job well done. That part isn’t difficult, it’s just remembering to do it. I should have done this long ago, but as I have stated, I don’t necessarily have it down myself. It is hard work. When I feel like doing something else, I have this inner argument going on in my head. The voice of reason says, if you do this now, it will be easier in the future, the hard work will pay off and it will benefit my kids tremendously. The selfish voice says, but I would rather do this or that. I am trying really hard to listen to reason. I know it will be worth it in the end and when they are married and have a home of their own, just maybe they won’t have these same struggles that I am having.

Here is today’s schedule: It is supposed to be in columns but I can’t get it to adjust right. I copied and pasted. That could be the problem.

Susan Princess Pixie Peanut

7:00 AM wake sleep sleep sleep
7:30 AM get ready sleep sleep sleep
8:00 AM get girls up get girls up get girls up get girls up
8:30 AM breakfast breakfast breakfast breakfast
9:00 AM chores chores chores chores
9:30 AM school school school school
10:00 AM ** ** ** **
10:30 AM ** ** ** **
11:00 AM ** ** ** **
11:30 AM ** ** ** **
12:00 PM lunch lunch lunch lunch
12:30 PM chores-zone4 chores-zone4 chores-zone4 chores-zone4
1:00 PM Beth quiet time quiet time quiet time
1:30 PM ** ** ** **
2:00 PM ** play play play
2:30 PM ** ** ** **
3:00 PM ** ** ** **
3:30 PM travel Kids rock Kids rock travel
4:00 PM ** ** ** travel
4:30 PM ** ** ** Tap
5:00 PM ** ** ** **
5:30 PM ** ** ** **
6:00 PM Dinner prep ** ** **
6:30 PM dinner dinner dinner dinner
7:00 PM chores chores chores chores
7:30 PM chores shower shower bath
8:00 PM kids to bed bed bed bed
8:30 PM free time ** ** **
9:00 PM ** ** ** **
9:30 PM ** ** ** **
10:00 PM ** ** ** **
10:30 PM bed ** ** **

To Call To Do To Email

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One thing I have not succeeded in is training my girls to do chores consistently.  I certainly have them unload the dishwasher and fold clothes etc., but we don’t have an established routine in which they know what to expect to do.  So often times when I do ask them to do something I get a lot of complaining and whining and words like, “it’s too hard”.  Well, I walked in my daughters room the other day and saw this:

And when I asked my daughter to put the books on the bookshelf and came in a bit later I saw this:

Obviously she got a little distracted.

I have been working on yet another chore system. I purchased these index cards from Homeschoolestore and I printed them off on my computer.  I decided that I really need to get this finished so we can start the new school year right.  With a system. I only hope I can make the system stick.  The hardest part for me is assigning the chores and deciding on what everyday chores to have each child do and what and when to do the weekly chores.  If you haven’t it picked up already, I will confess that I don’t clean on a schedule. I clean when something needs to be done and most of the time it is when we are having company! LOL

Today was the first day we used it. I started slowly with just putting in the morning routine and a few things in the evening. The girls were so excited.  They were so inspired that the messy room above is now clean. And the best thing is that older sister helped the younger ones get it cleaned up. They even swept the wood floors.  Not bad.

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