Monday, February 28, 2011

Closet Blues

Here is just a little something I have been up to. Only a peek though since I am still in the process and there is much to be done. See if you can guess where this is taking place.

In a previous post I painted this ugly school shelf I have. Notice that the closet is painted in the color that is found throughout my home. Not a bad color, just not my choice. When we bought our house, every wall and closet had a fresh coast of paint... all the same paint, this paint. Slowly I am changing that. The room this closet is in has been painted by me now three times, the closet obviously remained untouched. Thank goodness! Even though the space is small the job was back bending, even the ceiling was painted!

I painted the room blue, painted the shelf and just could NOT live with the closest unpainted any longer! I was unsure if I would have enough blue paint left over from painting the room. I sure did not want to buy more, so I got creative. The kids bathroom is different shade of blue and I definitely have enough of that paint. So it was worth taking a chance. I also thought having the closet a different color would not overpower the room with so much blue!

 Now doesn't that look better?
It was definitely worth bending my back for. The blues look nice together... what a relief!
Remember... just a peek! Did you guess what room this is? Check back for more!

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kid's Towels Organized

Here is a closet that finally was refreshed with a coat of paint. Such a simple thing but it really made a big difference. .

This is the closet in the kids bathroom. A bathroom used by four soon to be five kids! I knew I had to come up with some sort of order for whose towel is whose, without spending a ton in monogramming. I just needed to be creative with what I already had.
So I reduced the amount of towels for the kiddos to two or three towels a person. I assigned a different towel color to each child. Then I made hanging color coded labels for easy reference of whose towel is whose. Easy even for daddy to keep things running smooth.
For now, again using what I already had available, I put labels on bins for simple easy, no excuse here is where "this" item goes organization. I even started a bin for the new baby to hold all those little things baby needs, like nail clippers, lotion etc. Eventually I will replace the bins with something a little more attractive, but for now it gets the job done.
I have found a start toward better organization is better than waiting until things are exactly, perfectly how I picture and hope them to be.
Once again using Word I made a double sided tag and then sealed it with contact paper. Using ribbon I already had and hooks I had from a picture hanging kit, I hung the tags. I drilled small holes into the shelf and then twisted the hook into place.

My girls just love getting into all their hair bows to do their dolls hair. The result has been missing bows and a drawer destroyed of any organization by little hands. I chose to hang their bows inside the closet. I used a mug hook left over from our  Personalized Chore Charts (click here). I drilled a small hole into the wall, stuck the mug hook through the top of a ribbon and then twisted the hook into the wall.

So far my system is working great! No more wondering who forgot to hang up their towel and finger pointing from one child to another of who to culprit was.

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Hay Is For Horses and A is For Aubrey

My sweet seven year old Aubrey is a horse lover! Starting at age three horses captured her wild heart! So for her fourth Birthday I arranged for her to get to ride her first horse. She was grinning from ear to ear and my mothers heart was overwhelmed! I love seeing my children passionate and each have their own things that get their little hearts excited.
Here we are four years later and Aubrey's love for horses has remained! You never know with kids, they go through so many stages as they grow and develop into big grown up people. When a passion is struck in the heart as horses have been for Aubrey, I can not help but to want to nurture that desire, that love, that interest.

With the upcoming arrival of our much awaited little boy, I had to play musical rooms for yet another time. I decided on blessing my oldest with her own room once again. She is the only introverted child I have and she thrives on having a space to call her own. I moved my three year old in with the five year old and the seven year old will share with the new baby (for the next couple of years that is). So what to do with a boy girl room? Aubrey is as much boy as I have had... a very active little girl who happens to have the favorite color blue! Perfect choice to room with a baby brother! Then it hit me, her love for horses could make for the most wonderful boy girl combination room.

So I hit the Internet for ideas and inspiration.
 I put together some photo collages of things that caught my eye. Things that could maybe be purchased or recreated by me.
I came across this fabric and I just fell in love with the vintage western look. This fabric just makes me want to sing, "Oh, yippee-i-o-ki-ay, yippee-i-o-ki-ay... I am an old cowhand..."
After searching and searching I found my baby boy's bedding and guess what it had this exact fabric! I am just thrilled! The order has been placed (thanks mom) and things are beginning to come together!
Now I will just be checking the doorstep every five minuets waiting for my package!
Don't worry I have plans for Aubrey's cowgirl side of the room too! Now I can only hope all the visions I have in my head for the room turn out. Oh isn't this exciting! I just can't wait to see the end result!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't Love It... Loose It!

We are so excited around my home! The weeks are dwindling away as we are getting so close to welcoming a new baby into our lives. Our hearts are just bursting with wonderment... a new baby... a baby boy... what will life be like with a brother for my four girls, a son for us? Five kids, FIVE kids, does that not sound like a house full?!
With a house full comes some rearranging that has been taking place to prepare for baby. I realize part of it is the natural nesting stage of pregnancy, but along with that comes the necessity of getting organized! I decided with adding another person into our lives, the wise thing for me to do is eliminate! I have been busy getting rid of some items that are not needed around our home. Clothes, shoes, toys, towels, blankets, baby girl things, oh my!  We just have so much "stuff" and I am exhausted from shuffling "stuff" from place to place! So here is what I have running through my head as I come across an item, "If I don't love it... LOOSE IT!" Let it be loved by someone else out there!
I have set a years time frame for myself on this entire home "No love... LOST" mission I am on. I figure for the all now side of me, knowing that this is a year long goal, it gives me balance and perspective. I do not have to become overwhelmed when I open a closet that desperately needs some attention while knowing I am in the middle of another area of the home that has my attention. Instead I remind myself, this is going to take some time. There is a long term change that is taking place. A new way of living in our home is being established. Or should I say reestablished. I used to live by this mentality. If I did not love an item I immediately got rid of it. Then child after child happened mixed with my husband leaving his job to enter into full time ministry. Paychecks were, well meager and the, "you never know when you may need this item" mentality took over. Boy did it take over! No more! I am ready to purge!
So I encourage you... take a look around your home. Are you just living with things? Or are you surrounded by things you enjoy and love? If you have a house filled with things you could stand to live with out, then get it out! If you are surrounded by things you just don't enjoy looking at, then why have it in your home? This is where I am at. Why have things in my home that take up my time and attention if I get nothing out of them? Why can't a soap dispenser be something I like looking at, if I am going to use it every day? "If I don't love it... LOOSE IT!" Come join me in letting go, getting rid of, purging items, if you find yourself in the same place I find myself in these days! "No love...  get LOST!"

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mason Jar Love

I confess I love mason jars! I don't know why, but I just love those glass bottles! I have different ideas of how I want to use them (yes I actually spend time thinking about mason jars) but here are ways I have already put some to use around my home.
Holding money is a great use. Separating the money by coin with the purpose of teaching my kids about the different coins and their worth. We are saving our "pennies" for family fun. My girls love contributing to the growing coin jars! When they find coins while we are out and about they can not wait to get home to drop them in the jar. They also love to "find" coins in my room, usually on top of my dresser from daddy's pockets, and excitedly show me more coins to contribute to the jar. This is a great way to teach kids about saving money in a fun, family style way. 
I left the top open for easy dropping!
How can I even express my love for these old turquoise jars? The two on the right look clear, but in reality they are just lighter than the one on the left. Gorgeous! They used to be filled with marbles, but I lost them. No not really... about them being filled with marbles... the other part is obviously true as evidence in this post!

Remember my button jar in my laundry room? It was a jar that held pasta sauce. When I realized Classico jars are mason jars, I morned the loss of all the ones I threw away. Just tossed in the trash like garbage.

Each of my girls have jars filled with shells, pebbles, rocks or stones. They found  these while at the beach or a fun day out enjoying nature and wanted to bring home a little memory from the day. I tied each jar with a different ribbon that coordinates to a frame I painted for each of them. My girls have loved this! Always makes me happy to see my children latch onto my simple ways of saying "you are special."
Well I will put a lid on it and say clearly I love mason jars!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paint Makes Most Things Better

As some of you know, I used to have a "real" classroom in my basement (a link to A Classy Classroom post). I really wanted real classroom furniture to give the room a very authentic feel. Well we have said farewell to the basement, moved upstairs to a bedroom and yet once again said our goodbyes... our classroom has moved yet again.  The bedroom is going to be transformed into a baby BOY (YAY!!) and little girl's room. As school things were being moved out I thought about one piece of school furniture I have and how it may serve a new purpose in a bedroom. The problem, it is not an attractive piece. The solution, two coast of paint! Amazing what paint can accomplish! 

Beautiful is not a word I would use to describe this piece of furniture, but better is!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Waffles Meet Ice Cream

Happy Valentine's Day!
I am in love! YUMMY! Homemade waffles (served warm) topped with two flavors of ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, bananas, whip cream and sprinkles!
My darling husband came up with this fun idea for Valentine's Day! Well he knocked this one out of the park! A happy wife and happy kids who most definitely felt LOVED!
No one had trouble clearing their plates! So if you want one more FUN and DELICIOUS way to show your loved ones how special they are, treat them with this SCRUMPTIOUS dinner dessert!

This day began with breakfast provided by my husband a family trip to the movies, he washed my truck and then finished off with YUMMY! A good Valentine's Day indeed!And I thought I wanted diamonds! What did I know.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laundry Room Makeover

The time has come, I have given up, given in and got to work! My laundry room (really it is a closet but I can pretend) was a dreaded place for me to be. Not just because of the piles and loads and mounds of laundry that await me each day, but because it was aesthetically unpleasing to my eyes! The thought that my piles are going to increase with adding a new baby to our family got me on the move! I had to solve this ugly, dreaded problem. No wonder the laundry would pile... it is called PROCRASTINATION! I wanted a space that I wanted to be in. A space that could be peaceful for me. A place  where my mind could wander and ponder thoughts as I dump clothes in the washer and fold them from the dryer.
I began pouring through the Internet to get some ideas or inspiration. What I got at first was depressed! So many beautiful laundry rooms out there to be desired. So I wiped away the drool and came back to reality. I decided I would challenge myself to be creative with what I have. The result... a laundry room makeover that only cost me my time, oh and the big sum of $5.00! Guess what, I also had fun doing it! Though it will not find it's way to any magazine pages or even cause one to drool, it is a definite improvement from what it was before! My goal was accomplished! I now have a place that is not dreaded but peaceful and transporting. My thoughts can think and I can accomplish a necessary chore for my family happily.

Here is what took place

I first thought maybe I could live with a small change. So I replaced not so pretty laundry baskets with ones  I like. NOPE not enough of a difference to make a difference. Something more HAD to happen!

  I painted the walls with Quietude from Sherwin Williams. I had a whole can left over from painting our master bathroom. The color looks and feels different being in the laundry room due to the difference in size and lighting. The pictures do not capture the true color at all!     
 Here is the whole of it... the laundry closet room that is!
 I will  change out the blue bins (or spray paint them black) and find a solution for the laundry soap. The clock I thought would be a good idea to glance up at when a load is put in the washer and dryer. Since I am notorious for forgetting my laundry and end up rewashing loads maybe knowing the time will help. I can be hopeful!
 The small jar used to hold Alfredo sauce from Classico. For fun and whimsy I hung the picture using clothes pins and ribbon. The jar holding clothes pins also has seashells from the beaches I grew up on! Peaceful! All of this sitting on my thrift store shelf for a whopping $.99!
 I painted all the frames and two shelves with the color I used to paint my classroom. I also made all the signs! Amazing what you can do using Word, different fonts downloaded from the Internet and a color printer!

 Hiding back behind the baskets is a trashcan to store toss all the dryer lint and sheets.
 I wanted some Bible verses and inspirational reminders of what this room is now intended to be.
 I took ideas from the Internet of laundry room sayings and then either changed them a bit and made them my own or made up my own like the one below.
Oh joy! There is the dryer chiming now, inviting me to come and enjoy my new space as I, wash, dry, fold and repeat (another cute laundry room saying out there!)
Hope you have been inspired to be creative with what you may already have to beautify a space you want to be.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Letters

A friend of mine asked me what I have planed for Valentine's Day for my girls? I have not the foggiest idea! No problem, I still have a couple of days to figure it out. Smile, smile! What I do know is what I have done for my girls in the past.
Here is something  I did for each of my girls to show my love and how special they are to me.

 The girl's letters hang over their beds. I told my girls that every time they climb into bed at night and see their letter they can know how much mommy loves them! How very special they are to me! The years have passed and still my girls treasure their letters. They are already reminding me we need to make one for our new baby! Just touches my heart that this simple act conveys so much love to my children.

This polka dotted letter C is going to be redone since a new room awaits my now three year old with a different color scheme.

I bought these letters at Hobby Lobby and after painting them added a picture hanger to the back so they could hang on their walls. Just make sure you do not hammer the nail through to the front of the letter. Not that I would know from experience. 

Now time for me to get creative for this year's Valentine's Day!

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Homeschool Fun

Letter of the week Bb!

We all have to learn them so why not make it fun? Learning our letters does not have to be boring it can be better than that it can be the best fun!
Here is a sample of the fun we have at school with letters. First I decide on a letter for the week. I print out something like you see pictured here. We talk about the sound the letter makes, read the words, they think of some on their own and then... they run! They run around the house/ classroom finding things that start with the letter of the week. In this case the letter B!
Other times we bring something to share that starts with our letter of the week. Snack, lunch, dessert, craft and so on can go right along with the letter of the week.

They placed the items they found for the letter Bb in my basket. Then I pulled out what they found and we talked about why or how it fit with the letter.

They found:
Ballet slippers
Bowling Ball
Blue Ballerina
Baby Bottle
Blue Elephant with a Bird

We then sang songs and read poems about Bumblebees! So for our craft, what else but Bumblebees! I love that the wings for the Bees are their hand prints!

Here is the link for the template we used.
Handprint Bumblebee Craft

We are BUZY Bees around our home school classroom! I hope you join in the BEST fun and try these fun learning letter ideas with your little ones! You will see the BIGGEST smile appear on their beautiful faces!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Nothing To Be Boogled About Here

 As a mom and a teacher to my children I am always on the look out for fun ways to get my kids excited about learning. I came across this game when my first daughter was three and found it to accomplish just what I was hoping for. I have put it into use with all my other children and they too enjoy it just as much as she did years ago. I hope you find this to be as fun, educational and useful for your children as I have.

Boggle Jr. is a great way to get your little ones excited about reading. This game is fun for little hands and minds to search for and match the letters in the word displayed. Helps to reinforce letter recognition and letter sounds. Also a great tool for children learning their short vowel sounds.

Here are some places I have found that sell this game. I am sure there are other places you could find by doing a search on the Internet. I bought mine at Target all those years ago, but at least on line they do not seem to carry it any longer.
(Click the link below to view the web page)
Boggle Jr. from Homeschooling Supply
Boggle Jr. from Toys R' Us
Boggle Jr. from Amazon
Boggle Jr. from Kaplan Early Learning Company

Happy and fun learning! Hope you found this helpful!

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