Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday’s Finds #1 {organization}

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I would like to add some variety to this little blog, so on Fridays, I’m planning to share things that I have found useful, interesting, and/or helpful. These posts will contain cleaning tips, organizing advice, repurposing suggestions, decorating ideas, etc. My plan is to share things I have found through others, tried for myself, and found successful–not to just give you links to things other people have tried. Today I will share a few organization ideas with you.

Tension Rods in a Drawer

20140124-101636.jpgThis is a simple and cheap fix to chaotic drawers. It requires no carpentry skills or fancy organizing materials. Simply measure your drawer’s width and buy small curtain/tension rods (about $2 each) to fit your drawer. You can place the tension rods from front to back the way Passionate Penny Pincher demonstrates with before and after photos of her drawer. You can also insert tension rods from side to side in your drawer (pictured above) as I posted back in August.

Mason Jar Storage

20140124-150040.jpgI have seen so many cute ideas for using Mason jars for just about everything you can imagine. With four kids in our house, I’m reluctant to use glass jars for things the kids will have access to, but I have found them useful for things I keep in the kitchen. The Burlap Bag shows how to store strike anywhere matches in a jar with a sandpaper lid. Her lid even has a little hole cut out to dispense matches. I chose to simply cut a piece off the side of my match box and insert it between the disk and ring on my lid. I had about half a box of regular matches and needed to use them up. I may buy strike anywhere next time and fully incorporate her idea.

20140124-150027.jpgI found the idea for storing muffin/cupcake liners at Life is Crazy Beautiful. The glass jar makes it easy to see that I need to purchase more liners before making muffins or cupcakes again! Storing toothpicks in the Mason jar was my idea. I hate boxes that are partially opened or opened frequently because they tear and wear out quickly. It just made sense to put the toothpicks in a jar too.

Magazine Files

20140124-201622.jpgI use fabric-covered cardboard magazine files to hide things in my pantry that are odd shapes and sizes or things I rarely use. One has food coloring and sprinkles, another has a variety of leftover Christmas-themed paper plates and napkins, one holds balloons and curling ribbon, and another holds coffee filters and paper plates. The other two hold packages of solid-colored party plates and napkins because I tend to forget those details when having a party or dinner guests.

20140124-203017.jpgI cut the fabric to fit the files and folded it around using sticky tack to hold it in place. I put a strip of Duck Tape on the bottom to prevent the fabric from fraying or coming loose. I can’t remember where I originally saw this idea because I made these a few years ago. I would like to update them with ribbons and tags like I saw recently on BuzzFeed. As you can see, I acquired two of the magazine files after I had covered the original four, and I have yet to cover them with fabric. Maybe I’ll cover those two when I add the ribbons and tags to all of them.

Well, Friday is nearly over, so that’s all I will share this time. I hope you enjoyed this post and will check back next Friday.

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A Lovely Walk

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We went for a walk in our neighborhood this afternoon and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was 68 degrees and sunny this afternoon. Tomorrow’s high temperature is only 47, so we had to take advantage of what God blessed us with today.

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20140120-220230.jpgThe babies enjoyed their first ride in the wagon. That is our gravel road in the background, and the asphalt roads in the rest of the neighborhood were almost as rough as the gravel. I refuse to try to push a regular stroller on the gravel, and we haven’t bought a double jogging stroller yet, so the poor babies had to endure a very bumpy ride in the wagon. They never fussed though.

A dog in a fenced yard barked at us, and Sissy was fascinated. A man was using a chainsaw to cut up a tree, and Little Sister watched long after we had walked past. Sissy doesn’t like loud noises, but she loves animals. Loud noises don’t bother Little Sister, but she is not as fond of animals. They are so different. I saw this quote last week and thought it fit them perfectly:
Two unique souls united by birth.

Big Brother and Big Sister rode their bikes on our “walk”. I find it a little ironic that they beg me to take them on a “walk”, and then I end up being the only one who actually walks. At least I got in 45 minutes of exercise today.

20140120-215240.jpgThe photos don’t do justice to this hill. It’s a awesome slope down to the bridge over the creek and then an almost equal slope up the other side. They love to race down the hill, up the other side, and then back again. They can go several times before I can walk to the other side. It’s a good thing there is very little traffic in our neighborhood.

20140120-215827.jpgWe love living out in the country. I’ll take the bumpy roads for the peacefulness and serene beauty any day.

Bible Memorization

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Over the course of my life, I have memorized a lot of scripture. Unfortunately, I have forgotten much of it because I did not continue to review those verses. In the last few years, I have tried memorizing scripture using notecards, a spiral notebook, and apps on my phone, but I haven’t been able to stick with it.

When Big Brother and Big Sister started Awanas in the fall, I wanted to help them with their scripture memory. I needed something simple for the children, and I needed something I would actually continue for more than a couple months. I came across this blog post on Pinterest a few months back, and it looked like something that I would actually do. It was just index cards on a ring, but the progression was what I had been lacking previously. The kids and I started this together and memorized Matthew 7:12 as a “Family” verse. Here is my first card.

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20140108-164125.jpgBasically, I memorized the verse, and then recited it once a day for 50 days, making tally marks on the bottom left. After 50 days, I moved this card from my “Daily Verses” ring to my “Weekly Verses” ring. Now I just recite this verse once a week and make tally marks.

20140108-165118.jpgAfter 50 weeks, I will move this card to a new ring for “Monthly Verses” and recite it for 50 months. I changed my system a little at this point. The lady who posted this idea plans to review her verses each semester. I’m planning to review mine once a quarter after 50 months. I might review the verses once a year after reviewing quarterly, but that’s over 16 years down the road, so I’ll determine that when my youngest two are in high school.

What I love about this system is the progression from reviewing the verses daily to weekly to monthly and so on. This gives me a goal to work towards. I feel like I have really accomplished something when I move a card onto the weekly ring. I enjoy making the tally marks because I’m one of those people who enjoys making lists and checking things off when they are complete.

This system works for me, and the kids were really excited about it the first few weeks. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as faithful with theirs as I have been with mine. Big Sister can’t read her verses yet, so I have to read her the reference and give her the first word or two. I couldn’t keep up with Big Brother’s verses. He didn’t want to go to Awanas the last two years, so he had three Sparks books to complete this year, and he whipped through the first two books in two months! Many of the verses review or build on verses from the previous book, so we are in the process of making cards for all of the verses from his third book.

For my verses, I chose some that I had memorized before, verses we had chosen for each of our children, and verses from this list and a few others I found on Pinterest. As I come across verses that speak to me, I add them to my verses to memorize. I plan to continue meditating on scriptures in this way for the rest of my life to ensure that I have God’s word hidden in my heart. I love being able to pray scriptures for my children, family, and friends.

Do you memorize scripture? What system works for you? Do you have any ideas for kids?

Urgent Request/Mission Opportunity

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My husband is traveling to Ghana, West Africa this month as part of a team from our church on a medical mission trip. This will be his fourth trip to Ghana, but he has been planning to do something special on this trip, and we just found out that his plans may not come to fruition.

Three years ago, after his second mission trip to Ghana, he and a friend with a common passion began forming a nonprofit foundation to dig water wells in Ghana to provide clean drinking water for people in remote villages. Since the formation of Firehouse Wells, they have been raising funds and accepting donations so that they could dig a well during the mission trip this January. We have established a relationship with a pastor in Ghana who has been working to find a crew to dig the well, but no one wants to travel to a remote area for just one well. Now we are faced with the seemingly impossible task of raising at least $4,300 in the next week to fund two wells, so a crew will be willing to dig them.

20140107-115313.jpgPlease help us provide clean water for the people of Ghana. You can visit FirehouseWells.org to make a donation in any amount by credit/debit card. If you would rather donate cash or send a check, please contact me for the address. Their website is having some issues, but you can read more under “About” and click “Donate” to submit a donation.

In Luke 18:27, “Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” We are trusting Him to do the impossible.

Catching Up

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So much has happened in the last month, and I haven’t been able to keep up with anything: the babies, shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, reading, blogging, playing Words with Friends….

The table in our dining room is covered with fabric and sewing projects that I haven’t completed, and many of them I won’t bother finishing now. I had great intentions of making homemade Christmas presents for several people who care for our babies at church, but I had trouble with part of the sewing and gave up. I should work on them now and have them ready for next Christmas, but I need to hem a pair of pants for my son and another pair for myself, sew a button on a skirt for Big Sister, re-hem hubby’s pajama pants, make the babies some taggy blankets…. Maybe I should just buy their gifts at the store next year.

This morning, I found a stack of wallet-sized photos of the babies at nine months that I should have given to family members over a month ago. They will be eleven months this Friday, and I haven’t posted their ten-month pictures yet. That requires me to use an actual computer and not my phone. Yes, I write 95% of my posts using the WordPress app on my phone while feeding the twins their bottles. I just had to adjust something above to “this morning” instead of “just now” because the babies are now on their second third bottle. I didn’t write much during that second bottle. They finished too quickly, and I had a lot to do once they went down for a nap.

I had a nice visit from a friend during the babies’ nap today, and they slept long enough that I was even able to turn the computer on and get the photos ready to scan. The babies lost interest in their bottles, so now I’m scanning their photos while they watch me from the doorway.

20140106-153249.jpgWe had this gate in the hallway when we confined the babies to the game room and their bedroom before we baby-proofed the rest of the house. We had been keeping the office door closed, but hubby and I decided we should try the gate in the office door, and we aren’t sure why we didn’t think of this before now. It works perfectly! There was no fussing while I scanned their photos. Now I’m back in the game room feeding a baby. Here are their pictures at ten months.

20140106-160228.jpgLittle Sister

20140106-160221.jpgSissy

20140106-160238.jpgLook at Sissy’s hand in that last picture. Is there any doubt that she is the dominant one? Even in the individual photo of her smiling innocently, you can see a little mischievous twinkle in her eye.

They are both walking everywhere now. Sissy has been walking well for almost a month, and Little Sister started walking a little on Christmas Day and walking well just a few days later. It didn’t take her as long to progress once she decided to try it. We think it was just lack of self confidence. Sissy is bolder, more aggressive, and tough like Big Brother, whereas Little Sister is more cautious, watchful, and sensitive.

Here is a photo of all four kids taken just before Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t post it before now because this was part of our Christmas gift to grandparents and great-grandmas.

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I have a few more things I want to share, but the babies are finished with their bottles, and we have to run to the store for formula. Maybe I can finish catching up by the end of the week.

In sickness and in health

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Well, we managed to make it 10 1/2 months without the babies catching any viruses or bacterial infections, but they have now had two illnesses in one week! I took the babies to the doctor Monday morning after they had had fever, vomiting, congestion, etc. off and on since Christmas Day. Both of them had strep. Great. The older two have always been very susceptible to strep, and sure enough, we returned to the doctor Tuesday morning because Big Sister had fever. She also tested positive for strep. By Friday we thought everyone should be feeling better, but Big Sister and Little Sister still had fever, so we went back to the doctor. (Yes, that’s three visits in one week. Thankfully, our insurance has free visits for children under 19.) This time, they tested positive for flu A. Yuck. We weren’t able to have any play dates over Christmas break, and now it’s over. Little Sister was the only one with fever today, so I think we are on the road to recovery. I’m so ready to be able to go somewhere other than the doctor’s office!

20140104-215930.jpgI don’t have many pictures from this past week, since the girls have been sick. Here is a rare photo of my husband, who hates having his picture taken. Sissy has been cuddling a lot since she got sick. She loves her daddy.