Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Big Clean Out Project: The Medicine Box

Well here is my second project I completed this month for the Big Clean Out Project.  I have actually at this point completed all four projects!  I'm really excited about that because all I have left to do is edit them and actually create the posts.  (I'm not a procrastinator at all with only 3 days left in the month!)  

With out further ado, organizing the medicine box.

In a cabinet in the kitchen there once lived a sad little clear box.

The box was full of useful and important things to make the family feel better.

 Whenever the family needed something they rummaged in the box, and soon it was in complete disarray.  (Seriously look at that bandaid explosion)

One day the box was cleaned out and sorted, and oh the "treasures" that it held to be found.  The contents were sorted by type, wound care, tummy, sinus and aches and pains.

There were also several "treasures" that were well past an expiration date, that went into the trash bin

All the band-aids were rounded up and put in a baggie with some polysporin (we use this instead of Neosporin because I'm allergic to Neosporin) and ready for action.

A box was cut and separate spaces created for each category

Then back neatly into the box everything went and now with easy things are found when they are needed.

 Back in the cabinet the clear box went, happy not sad and ready to help.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Menu Monday

Well it is another Menu Monday here at Homemaking Challenged.  I seriously had a hard time this week.  It is my last week of "summer hours" at work (meaning I can get home an hour early to start dinner), so I wanted to try out some new recipes... but I it is still really hot and I have no desired to heat my home up unnecessarily for hours with the oven right now.

PS I'm linking up with Orgjunkie, check out all the great menu items there every monday!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Writing About Faith

I have purposefully  stopped myself from writing too much about my faith here, but I haven't completely avoided it, in posts like this one.  When I rebranded this blog, I shared that I was going to be adding more types of posts here.  Some of them will be about motherhood, some of them will be about my attempts in decorating (I don't have a single decorating gene in my body), some will be about my faith.  As I shared during my 31 days series, faith is central in our home.  It really is.  It is also central in my life.

Since it is something that is central in my life and my home, I am doing my readers a disservice to try and limit or filter it. I have wrestled with this for a long time.  I want this to be a place where everyone can feel comfortable, where anyone can get something out of it, regardless of their belief system.  That is still my desire, but my blog is going to start to change.  I can not tell you the number of times I have filtered, and stifled what I truly wanted to say, how many posts I have deleted or left as permanent drafts that honestly, I wanted to share.  If this is not a place where I can share my heart, then I am not comfortable.

I know that some of my readers do not have a religion, or faith and some are pretty against it.  I don't want you to stop coming here.  I am not going to start sharing these things to exclude you.  Please know that there will still be good content aside from my faith based posts for you.  Know that while I would hope you could still hear my heart and read those posts, you have my full permission to skip over it.

I am going to try and seek a good balance with my posting.  It will be a struggle and it will take me some time, so please be patient with me as I strive to truly share my heart with you on all things that are dear to me.  I just can no longer share my homemaking struggles (and few successes) with you without sharing my faith struggles and successes with you.  I know that this will be a shift in my blog.  I am going to try to have many of the things faith related that I post will have some sort of tie-in to the home, but not all will.  I have realized that the home starts with the homemaker, and their own well being.  If they are in chaos, the home will feel chaotic, if they are happy, the home will be also.  They are the power source and the light of the home.  As a homemaker is, so goes the home.

Faith can always be a touchy subject, not everyone has the same belief, or agrees with others.  I will not apologize if my posts offends you because you disagree, I will ALWAYS try and state things in a loving and respectful manner.  Know that I am always open to conversations with you all via email.  Feel free to say anything to me via email.  You also can always comment.  I just ask that your comments be kind, and something that builds conversation, or community.  It is ok to respectfully disagree, it is ok to go back and forth, but please know if it gets ugly, I will delete comments.

All this to say, I am excited to start truly sharing things that are on my heart with you.  It is a part of my life that you can not separate (even though I have tried to keep it off of the blog as much as possible).  I am still growing and changing.  Some of the things I never thought I would be ok with, I am now endorsing, or even participating in.  As relationships grow, they change, they get deeper, you become a better person.  I am being stretched and challenged to grow in many areas right now.  I think that is one of the amazing things about following Jesus.  While he never changes, you constantly are working to become more like him and because no one person is the same, the journey and path are different for everyone.

I just wanted to give you all a head's up about this direction of the blog, so that some posts I am working on don't seem as if they are out of the blue.  Thanks for sticking around and reading this long crazy post!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Motherhood Really Looks Like

There are some days when your home looks beautiful, and ready to welcome guests.  Your children play together nicely and you can actually sit and drink a cup of coffee and play with your kids.

This is the image I always had of my life as a mom.

Enjoying life, playing with my kids and making it all happen!  Clean house, dinner on the table, guests frequently visiting a beautifully decorative welcoming home.  HAHAHAHAHA!  You know that is my life for maybe 5% .00001% of the time.  Most of the time it is not.

Then there are the days, were you think that you are going to take a permeant vacation because you are exhausted, and your home is a disaster.  Your living room may (or may not) look something like this:

Your toddler may or may not have emptied your entire cloth diaper stash on the floor, and the dog, may or may not have gotten to some of them.

Your darling son, may or may not have decided to make your mascara his new body paint.

He may or may not have also decided to take his underwear off so he could paint MORE of his body.

You may or may not have ended up loosing it on more than one occasion.

It is a miracle any of us survive to become parents ourselves.  

In the midst of this, God is Good, and I am still so thankful for my sweet kids.  Even if they have completely changed what I thought motherhood would look like.  It is always a wonderful adventure.

Have you ever had a crazy mommy day?  I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Menu Monday

Welcome to another edition of what our family is planning on eating this week or Menu Monday!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!  Here is the cranberry chicken recipe if you want it!

PS I'm linking up with orgjunkie, check out all the great menu ideas there!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

With a Heavy Heart

There has been something on my heart that I want to share with you my sweet readers.

I share this, knowing that I have short comings in it, as a reminder to both me and you.  Please know that names have been changed, to protect privacy, and I must omit certain parts to do confidentiality, but know that this story is real.  It happened, and my feelings about it are still raw.

Two-ish years ago, my husband and I started a small life group (small group/community group though our church where we would meet once a week and talk about the sermon from Sunday and encourage each other).  We had two other couples who were regular attenders and a few single moms.  We met at our apartment, until we added another couple.  The wife was in a wheel chair, and had extremely limited mobility.  We will call her Nancy.  Nancy had a birth defect and had been wheel chair bound since she was young, and only had limited use of her hands/arms.  Her husband Logan (as we are calling him) was her sole caregiver.  The had been blessed with a miracle child, lets call him Kale.  Kale was in Kindergarten at the time and had the biggest smile and always gave big hugs.

Due to their situation they completely lived off of her state disability income.

I really wish I could share this part of the story with you, but I can't.  All I can say, is they were placed in a bad situation.  We didn't hear from them for a month, they were too embarrassed by the situation to tell anyone.  We we did hear back from them, they requested we move life group to their home as their car had broken down (again) and due to her being chair bound, they had a difficult time getting around.  We moved our life group to their home and met for the rest of the session.  Towards the end they shared that they were being forced to move because of the situation above.  The only place they could find that they could afford was in another town about a 20 minute drive.  They moved, they stopped coming to church as much, their phones got shut off, we lost contact.  I saw them two other times since then, they came by the church to pick up groceries or go to a service.  I tried to call Nancy, but her phone was disconnected.

Fast forward to this past Easter.

The day after Easter, (remember I'm a Children's Pastor, Easter is a big crazy deal with lots of extra hours) we were told that Logan was dead.  The next day I got more information, he had committed suicide right before Easter, Kale had been told that he died in a plane crash and there was no money for a funeral or burial.  Logan's mom had apparently passed away and he was really struggling with her death.  One of Nancy's friends had been helping out, but he too was wheelchair bound.  Kale is in 1st grade, and his mom can't do much for him.  They showed up at church on a Sunday in April.  I got to talk with Nancy a bit, we exchanged new numbers, and Kale gave me the BIGEST hug.  He was still smiling and as sweet as ever.

I called, left a message.  Never heard back.

Life got busy.  I got a promotion at work and all of my focus went into planing for the upcoming programing, staffing etc.  Life is always busy.

This past Monday, I was in a prayer meeting and our Office Manager came and handed me a flyer.

Nancy had died last week.  They were looking for donations for her services.  Her sister wrote her name and number on the flyer.  It was taped to our front office door (during the summer months the staff use the back door because we all park under the shade in the back, so I hadn't seen it).

My heart broke in a million pieces.  Nancy, no matter what her situation had overcome so many monumental hurtles.  Always with a smile, even when she was frustrated, even when they were struggling.  Kale was the pride and joy of her life, her miracle baby.

My heart sunk and broke again.  Kale.

Where was Kale in this mess?  All I could think about was giving him a big hug, and telling him that it would be OK.

I let our Lead Pastor know and he wanted to make the call, as he had the power to financially help.  Nancy's aunt and uncle are working to get their home cleared so they can adopt Kale.  Kale is currently in child protective services.

We haven't heard back as to whether his Aunt and Uncle were able to get approved or not.

I can't imagine being a 7 year old, who has now lost both of his parents with in 5 months and now is in an unfamiliar home with strangers.

I am in tears still as I write this, and as I have prayed daily for Kade, and his family, God is using this situation to remind and teach me a few things that I wish to pass on to you.

We can always to more to help others.  If we are to error in our interactions with others, error on the side of doing to much to help and encourage them.

I have always had a heart for adoption, and we have been planning on fostering to adopt down the road.  This solidified any doubts I had about us doing this.  How many other kids are out there in situations like Kale who need a loving home, even if just to land in briefly and how many more need permanent homes?

In order to peruse the goal of fostering/adopting seriously, we have several goals that need to be met that honestly, we haven't really been working on.  In some area's we have actually moved backwards on due to situations we have ended up in.  I am going to start actually setting and working on some of these goals.

Life can be gone in a blink of an eye.  Show love to all you meet.  Share your heart with them, leave it all out there.  Sure, you may get hurt but you will also make a bigger impact in the lives of those around you.

Take time today, to reach out and show others some love!

This is where my head and heart have been this week, sorry if I seemed absent.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Big Clean Out Project: Big Lower Cabinet

The Big Clean Out Project, is an ongoing project where we tackle four spaces (however large or small) and clean, sort, organize, rearrange or change for the betterment of our home!  You can read all about it in my first post here.  Join us and baby step by baby step, our homes will become better, and we will be less Homemaking Challenged! Here is my 1st project for the month of August!

I am so excited!  There has been this cabinet in my home that has been driving me CRAZY.  Part of the reason it drives me crazy, is because if someone *cough-husband-cough* leaves it open slightly... and then the kids get into it and it just gets a bit crazy.

As you can see... DISASTER!  However I did have some cute help cleaning it out so I could organize. Please ignore the inside out undies.  He is a "big boy" and has to dress himself these days.

The final project has me a very happy camper.  I have been very careful to make sure these doors are ALL the way shut now, so it can stay so nice and pretty!  I even have extra space to boot!

So excited that I finally tacked this project this month.  1 down 3 to go, 16 days left!

I'm feeling good.

What small projects will you tackle this month for the betterment of your home?  Join us and pick a few, every small step forward is progress!  Even if it is in a cabinet no one else will see.

Linking up this project - Here!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Regular Gardner

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
In the center of my flower box.  

I have now planted some seeds.

I am full of hope that they will grow, just as my flowers have, into food that we can enjoy.

Hopefully my green thumb will work, although, we have to wait 10 days to see if the seeds took...

I'm not a fan of waiting.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Menu Monday

This week we are eating...

I'm still working on the Pizza Bunt recipe and hope to perfect it this time, and have the recipe for you later this month.  The enchilada recipe is new (to me) from here.  Friday we are out of the house and excited because our church is having a movie night and it is going to be fun!

PS Check out OrgJunkie's Weekly link up for tons of great ideas!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

5 Reasons To Always Be Thankful

1. We are called to be thankful

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

2. Thankfulness is healthy for you

Even if you don't follow the Bible, you should know that it is good for your overall health according to this article from the Wall Street Journal.

3. A thankful heart is a happy heart

Not to quote Madame Blueberry (sorry if I got the song stuck in your head), but it is true.  You feel happier when you are thankful, and that is a good thing.

4. It stops complaining

Focusing on the negative side of things, never helps.  It doesn't make us feel better, it actually makes us feel worse.  The best way to fight off complaining is by being thankful.

5. We all have so much to be thankful for

No matter how bad things get, the fact that you can even read this blog means you have a great deal to be thankful for, (internet access, the ability to read, electricity... I think you get the point) and it is GOOD to be thankful.

Some of the things I am thankful for I recently posted in my vlog here, but that barley scratches the surface.  How could I not be thankful with these cuties in my life???

What are some things you are thankful for?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Craft Armoire

When we first moved in to our first home (over 1 year ago), we were so thankful to get several pieces of hand-me-down furniture.  One was this wonderful armoire.

I had seen many ideas on pintrest about how to use it, (doll house, gift wrapping station, hidden desk etc) however I knew that it was going to be my craft storage.  I love crafting but my previous storage system (a huge boxes) made taking things in and out a pain, and ate into my crafting time.  My solution is a crafting armoire!

I am planing on eventually painting this, and doing some more organizing prettifying (yes that is a real word), however, this is perfect for now, until I am able to paint and make it "pretty" I settled for functional, not perfect.  I am so glad I did.

Here is my before picture (remember we don't judge here!)

Here is the after:

Now, on top shelf on the inside holds my cricut cutter, and cartridges, as well as some spray paint.  The second shelf holds my sewing machine and box, as well as a bag for my "current project"  This way whatever I'm working on, I can toss fold neatly and store away if I have to stop for a week hour or two.

 This is my most favorite part, it is where I hang my cricut mats, on a command hook on the inside door of the dresser!  Before, they would always get squished, and now they stay nice and flat.

I cut up old boxes to make sections and organize the draws.

The first one holds general crafting supplies (glue, paint, ribbon etc)

The second one holds my scrap booking supplies

The third my fabric and patterns

Prior to this project, my crafting stuff was all shoved into boxes, and it was such a pain to get it out and put it away, it took the joy and fun out of crafting.  Now with easy access, I am so excited to get moving on my long list of projects!

Eventually I'd like to paint/re-stain the armoire, but for now transforming it into a craft storage that is functional and free is a big enough win for me.

What have you been organizing lately?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vlog #2!

I'm so excited to be linking up again with one of my favorite bloggers, Mandy from House of Rose to vlog about things that we are thankful for and are making us smile!   I'm still getting the hang of vlogging, but there may be more in the future, because it is kinda fun!  You should join in the fun here:

What to know what I'm smiling about and thankful for???  Check it out here:

I hope you all have a fabulous week, and take some time to smile and be thankful for the good things in life!