Thursday, June 30, 2011

For Real Thursdays - Housing Decisions

We moved into a smaller house than our family needs for a reason; to stay motivated enough to eventually build a log home debt free. It also was cheaper than most places around so we figured we could save more money to build by renting this cheaper, smaller house. Now don't get me wrong, we did not move into a fixer upper or anything of that sort. We were totally blessed to find a nice home at a great price. The problem we are having right now is that we are busting out of the seams of this small house.

So what do we do? Our options are stay and downsize BIG time, or find something that may be bigger and more accommodating for our family but also cost more. I mean we did pick this place for a reason. The issue is that people's moods aren't at their best when the house seems out of order and there's no room to get around without stepping over or moving something. Some things I can easily get rid of, others are necessary to hang on to. So I wonder, even after downsizing are we going to have the room we need to keep our home a peaceful place that our family enjoys living in?

When we first moved in we had no living room furniture, no dining room furniture and only mattresses on the floor in the boys rooms. Since moving here we have gained all this furniture that we need, but now the house seems so much smaller. We are also starting our family business and needing a place to work (ex. packing boxes for shipping, having a quiet place to make phone calls and work with orders).

So what do we do. We really don't want to end up buying something that is going to put us in a 30 year mortgage. We really do want to build debt free. And right now, we have the BEST landlords ever.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Baby

Kyle is such a happy baby. He is always laughing and smiling. He can cheer anyone up with his contagious grin. He's very easy going and such a joy to have around. I just love him so much :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I don't know about you but I am at that place where I just want to downsize all the "stuff" I have. Over years we tend to accumulate lots of stuff and in a family our size there is LOTS of STUFF. We are busting out of the seams in this house. So I am SO ready to just clean out everything. I feel like walking around the house with trash bags in hand and downsizing. There are plenty of people out there who might be able to make use of all the stuff I don't use anymore. So it's either going for our youth yard sale, trash or to someone I know needs it.

Anyone else going through this?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Back

In case some of you were wondering why I didn't get many posts out last week, I was out of town visiting family in NC. I wanted to visit my Grandma in the hospital and see how she was doing. I'd like to thank everyone for their prayers. She is finally home and her health is much improved. They were able to give her some blood on Tuesday which helped to increase her platelets which in turn greatly improved her overall condition.

I was able to see my Mom, Dad, sisters, some of my aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews as well. I hope to go back soon when we can all go together (Jim, Josiah and Christiana were unable to make this visit) and possibly spend more time there.

It's good to be home. Now to catch up on laundry and get my house back in order :) I pray that all of you and your families are well. Blessings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Friday was Micah's birthday and I missed posting about it because we were out celebrating.

Micah is such a sweet boy. He is very caring for his siblings and such a compassionate person. He loves his bow and arrow and loves building things with his Legos. He is growing into such a wonderful young man and I am so proud of him. My life has truly been enriched because of him.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

For Real Thursdays - Please Pray for My Grandma

Please pray for my Grandma Stout. She has always been more like a mother to me than a grandmother. She is in the hospital in NC and I'm planning on visiting her next week. Pray that her health improves so that she can go home soon. And please pray that we have a safe trip there and back. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Nap Time

I love naps, and my naptime cuddle bugs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fruit Smothies

Now that it's hot outside, my kids love those popsicles that come as liquid in plastic tubes. I don't mind getting those every once in a while but it's not something I like to do all the time because of all the sugar that is in them.

What I do like to make for my kids that are cold and refreshing are fruit smoothies. They are so simple and my kids love them and every time they hear the blender they come running.

All I use is a banana (sometimes I omit), some orange juice, pineapple and some of it's juice (you can use canned if you don't have fresh), frozen fruit of choice and ice. Blend together and adjust to your liking. Healthy, cold, and refreshing. And if you have those popsicle molds you could freeze these for a delicious frozen treat for later (ours never make it to the freezer). Enjoy!

Joshua really enjoys his smoothies.

Matthew does too :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wasp Control

Now that we are having hot days of summer we are also having bugs. Lots of bugs; wasps, bees, mosquitoes, flies, gnats, etc. So my brave boys decided to protect us from a wasp the other day. They dressed themselves in "armor" and set out with weapons in hand.

My tough, brave boys.

Least to say, they were successful in killing the threatening wasp. We are now safe here at home thanks to my knights in cotton armor :)

Jonathan wondering what all the fuss is about.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For Real Thursdays - Looking for Encouragement

I am not a perfect mother or wife by a long shot. I don't always have the right attitude toward my husband and my children. That's why I look for ways to find Christian encouragement and keep my mind on the right track. That's where Above Rubies comes in handy.

I love Above Rubies! Their magazines give me so much encouragement. If you haven't found them on Facebook yet, you can type in Above Rubies and "Like" their page and receive words of encouragement on a daily level instead of having to wait for their magazine to come.

Here are a few examples of some of their quotes that have spoken to me. By the way, Nancy is the author of Above Rubies and Michelle heads up the Canadian branch of Above Rubies. May you find daily encouragement on your walk as a mother and wife as well.

"Showing respect can be difficult, especially when someone's actions do not seem worthy! When I am in this spot, I remind myself that my good behaviour did not bring about my salvation. If that was the case, I would fail! Yet, I am still saved by the grace of God! Surely I can show respect then, regardless of the worthiness of the actions! After all, it is the person I am respecting, not the behaviour!" Love Michelle

"The best chapter of life is the childhood chapter. The adult chapter can typically last at least 5 times longer! Savor every second that you have to watch your child move through this extra-special time! Childhood is the shortest season-LOVE every second of it!" Love Michelle

"Are there any "battles" going on in your home? I hope so! I hope you are battling all the lies of the enemy that are trying to defeat you and tell you that you are anything less than amazing and incredible! You must battle these attacks with truth! And the truth is that you are hand-picked and especially equipped by the hand of God Himself! He empowers you to win the battle and walk in truth!" Love Michelle

"People laugh at me because I see children as the answer to so many issues! Struggling with pride? Raise a child! Feeling unloved or lonely? Raise a child! Feeling like you want to do more for God? Raise a child! Struggling with finding a real sense of purpose? Raise a child! Need motivation to take better care of yourself? Raise a child! Battling selfishness? Raise a child! I could go on & on!" Love Michelle

"Sometimes a change of perspective is all you need! When Solana (1) spread toilet paper and feminine products all over the bathroom floor, my first thought was, "What a MESS!" but then as she looked up at me, I realized she likely thought it was more like ART, not mess! Ah, I love her and her art!" Love Michelle

"Are you going through a difficulty in your life? Does everything seem on top of you? Don't despair. The psalmist confessed, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me." Don't dwell on the problem you face. Look to the Lord and trust Him and you He will revive and refresh you in the midst of your trouble. The problem may stay, but God will help and refresh you in the midst of the problem." NANCY

"YOUR WORK AS A MOTHER IS SACRED! 1 Chronicles 9:28-32 tells us about the work of the priests. Some were appointed to look after utensils, others to mix the spices and others to bake in the pans! Hey, I thought these were priests doing holy work! Yes, they were doing holy work, but it was practical! All the menial tasks you do in the home are holy too, especially as you do them as unto the Lord." NANCY

"As a wife, it can be so tempting at times to "judge" my husband! "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Rom 12:3. If the measure of faith a person has was given by the hand of God, who am I to judge? Father, please forgive me." Love Michelle

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Successful Charcoal Grilling

If you're like us you probably own a gas grill because charcoal grilling is much too difficult. We love the flavor from a charcoal grill, but the frustration of trying to get the charcoal hot enough without using a whole container of lighter fluid and then still being unsuccessful was enough to make us switch to gas.

Well, we have learned the secret of getting great coals every time. Go to Walmart ($9.97) or Home Depot ($14.99) or such and purchase a Charcoal Chimney Starter like the one below. Follow the instructions and viola! Hot coals that allow you to cook perfect every time. All you need is newspaper, charcoal (a little lighter fluid on top of the charcoal helps) and matches.

Here's wishing you great success in charcoal grilling!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Sunburn Relief

I've never tried this but I've heard it works. To find relief from a sunburn, spray vinegar on your burn and leave it on overnight. You may smell like pickles, but the next morning no more burning. Your burn will turn to a tan and no peeling.

If you try this before we get the chance, let me know how it works for you.

Pictures From Our Memorial Day

Since we got to Melton Hill Dam so early,
we were the first ones in the water.

Mid-morning after people began showing up.

Had a wonderful cook-out
(thanks to my hubby, Jim).

Relaxing around the picnic table
while the food is cooking.

Then home for some R & R

A little reading.

Game time

A game for a crowd.

I made some ice cream while the kids
went out and played in the sprinklers.

Quick supper of leftover hamburgers and hotdogs,
everyone taking baths, then finish the evening
with a yummy bowl of homemade Rocky Road :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Cupcake

He sure loved that cupcake, or at least the icing.