Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Spend September

This is a little bit off my regular posts, but here goes.  Our budget is being readjusted since I am no longer receiving a paycheck.  :)  We never budgeted any of the regular living expenses considering my contribution, however it was always there to take up the slack and fill in for the extras.  The summer months and August has kicked our tails.  Considering some extra traveling my hubby and my oldest did in prep for college, and all the nickel and dime back to school expenses, and oh I don't think I mentioned on here that my daughter is back doing her gymnastics thing (and let me tell you that ain't free or cheap), oh and I'm pretty sure all three of our cars need some sort of work done.  The enemy {satan} has a very good way of putting doubts in your head - I know I am totally in God's will by quitting my job and staying home, but the money thing will always make you wonder - God is bigger people I promise.  We got two checks this week that were not planned - just enough to take care of a couple of necessities.  And yes, I know I could just put it on my visa card - but I'm tired of rolling like that, it's a never-ending cycle that goes nowhere.

I have been inspired this month by Sarah's no spend August.  I have been reading all month all the things that she was able to accomplish, projects she has had on the list for a while but just hadn't gotten to.  I decided to make a list of things that I had been wanting to do that would only take time and not money.  It was a considerable list peeps!!

So, I have decided to do my part to help with the budget recovery.  I have seen no-spend months done in lots of different ways.  My goal is to not spend on any extras - so that means no eating out, no entertainment, no impulse buys all month.  Yes, we do have a birthday this month - so gifts, and a dinner out will have to be planned for - but it will be planned for :).  Hopefully this will help level things out and allow us to put back some money for Christmas.

Like I said I have a whole list of projects to choose from to keep me busy that don't require spending any money, and I can't wait to share with you the progress.

This lovely four day Labor Day weekend we will be starting off our no-spend month by my hubby working on the car himself instead of paying someone else to do it, and hopefully cleaning out the attic!!  Wahoo!!  We will also be spending time with very dear and long time friends - can't wait for that!!  Anyone else have some great Labor Day projects ready to go??

Linking up with these parties Kristen at We Are That FamilyKathy at Cornerstone Confessions

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coffee Station Just For Me

I am an avid coffee drinker, but I am the only one in my home that drinks it.  Still yet, I love coffee.  In reorganizing our kitchen I decided to change the way I stored my coffee supplies.  I had seen several cute little coffee stations online and I was inspired to have my own.  And here it is!!

The basket in the back holds my coffee filters and my coffee scoop.  The basket came as a gift filled with lots of fun yummy goodies.  I would really like something a smidge smaller.  But for now it's fine.  The tray I found at Hobby Lobby.  I am in love with adding blues here and there to my house.  

I went thrifting with one of my real-life blogging friends Jennifer the other day, and it seems I had ceramic on my brain, because this is what I came away with.  All a steal - I didn't pay over a dollar for any one piece.  Love that!!  

Anyway you see how the canister started.  It had an airtight seal, and I liked the shape and the color of the canister, just not so crazy about the lid.  

So I got out some paint, and went to work.  I also added just a touch of glaze to it so it wouldn't be just a flat color.  I did tape off the portion that would touch the inside just in case.

(I was so excited for the end product, I forgot to take any more pics of the process - sorry.)  I used more of my chalkboard vinyl to make a label for the canister and voila!!  I love how it turned out and I love this little cream and sugar set I found.  

I am also enjoying bringing some orange into the house. Orange is the happiest color after all!!  

I still haven't jumped on the kurig bandwagon.  Mostly because I drink several cups of coffee and I don't want to wait for each one to brew.  I don't even like to wait for the first one to brew, but I'm too forgetful (and lazy) to use the program button.  

I love having a little color in the corner!!  How about you??  Do you like coffee or do you prefer you coca-cola?  Do you drink it only in the morning or all throughout the day??  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Creativity Station

If you follow me on instagram or if you follow along here.  You might remember that I had an impromptu coloring session with my little boys last week.  They enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to put away our supplies.  But....I also didn't want all that spread out all over my kitchen table everyday.  

I left it out but I had my eye out for something different to store supplies in. While cleaning out my dreaded craft closet I came across this.

It was originally meant for a utensil holder.  I had used it in my kitchen for years to hold note pads and pens by the phone.  I am gradually changing the color scheme in the kitchen (and I never really need to take messages by the phone), so out it went.  

As I looked at it I decided it would be perfect to hold creative supplies and it would be small and cute. But...not in the red.  So, I found some spray paint in my newly organized garage, along with my favorite spray paint nozzle, and I went to work.

I have to confess - I stink at spray painting.  I don't have a ton of experience, and I am not patient.  I want to be done - I want to see the finished project, so I generally end up with some drips and runs here and there.  Lucky for me, this time they aren't too visible (if you don't look too close).  

After it was dry (barely - again, very impatient) I grabbed my handy dandy chalkboard vinyl and added a label to the front.

Then I began to fill it up with the necessities - crayons, markers, and newly sharpened colored pencils in all the colors of the rainbow and then some.  I also printed off some more coloring sheets from here.  Really neat site with free printable coloring sheets in lots of different themes. The boys surprised me by liking the word art. 
I had printed those for myself and some abstract stuff I thought the boys would like, but they went straight for the words.  What do you know?!?  So, I printed several more word art pics.

I can't wait to see if they are attracted to color again soon :).  I think things like art and music are very important for children of all ages - they use their left brain the majority of the day, it's good to exercise the right side as well!!

Blessings to you and yours!!  I hope you have a second to do something creative today :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Insta-Friday {Aug 23rd}

Happy to have you here!!  
Have I told you how much I like pictures??
I am thankful for my camera on my phone, because unlike my big bulky camera, my phone is always with me to catch the lovely things of daily life.  
Do you instagram??  If you don't, you should :)  Want to follow along??  I am denisegwood

Here is a view of my week in pictures via instagram :)

I have been a crazy person about decluttering and organizing all summer.  And, finally my kids are catching the bug...even my teenage daughter

an idea she found on pinterest...we'll see how long it lasts ;).

I have been whining struggling with the thought of my first-born baby starting his senior year.

This is the picture that I couldn't get out of my head the night before school started.  It was his first day of kindergarten.  He was so excited, so ready.  Just like now - but, I wasn't, just like now.

The first day of school :)  I love these signs that Jen at Tatertots and Jello created - aren't they cute??

One more then and now.  Walking down memory lane is fun, and I am embracing the change.  Going to enjoy every last second!!

While I was cleaning out my craft closet I discovered a tub of crayons and markers and got the itch to color.

Do you ever get the urge to color?  I love the look and smell :) of new crayons!!  I was surprised (well maybe not) at how many of my adult friends said YES they loved to color!!  Fun times!  Maybe I need to have some girlfriends over for a coloring party :).

Lucky for me the boys wanted to join me :)

The completed (almost) projects!!  

Oh, and an update on the closet - I did get it cleaned up and straightened up.  This was a $0 project - meaning I used storage I already had.  I still want to label everything and I have an idea to add another shelf with some scrap wood we have, but that requires hubby help.  Here's an after of the cleaned up closet.  Mission accomplished!!  Let me just tell there was a moment in the process that I thought this wasn't possible...

I hope you had a blessed week and hoping you have a great weekend as well!!

life rearranged

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What To Do Next? {Making a Plan}

So all went back to school, hubby went to work, and I was left alone with my thoughts.  Let me tell you folks, that's not a good place for me. My thoughts take me to scary places.  I think I was more anxious for my kids first days then they were!!  Lunch with hubby helped a lot.  He gets me.  He knows how to redirect my thoughts and calm my crazies.  I love that man.  Anywho, everyone had a great day!!  

6th grade, Sophomore, 5th grade, Senior - crazy

I'm so thankful and God is so good.  Sweet friends called and texted and facebooked me to check on me and it was wonderful - if that was you - thanks, it helped this momma's aching heart.  I have been pushing back against time and life as it marches right past me, and I'm done.  I don't want to miss a second because I'm whining about how fast it is passing me by.  (Don't get me wrong - I will have a moment (or a day) here and there when I'm whining again;)).  My kids are growing up and things are fun and exciting right now, so I'm jumping on board!  

So, now that the kids are back at school, and I'm not working outside the home anymore I have to make a plan (for those days when I can't decide what to do).  I decided to revisit my goal list for the year and see how things were coming.  

#1 on my list is De-cluttering - everything!! - working on it and getting there, really only two closets left (oh and the attic...)!!  See progress garage, laundry room, more garage, more

#2 Organizing - everything - working on it and getting there, as I said above only two closets left (and the attic...)!!  See progress kitchen, garage, laundry room, more garage
#3 Kitchen redo - including decluttering, organizing and updating (hopefully)
#4 Redo Craft closet
#5 Finish doors in hall - painting and molding - painting done
#6 Garage redo - clean out, organize, blah, blah, blah - Done!!  - see the completed project here
#7 Kids bathroom update
#8 Backyard landscaping - making it a more usable space - not good - puppy - progress here, and here
#9 Fireplace update
#10 Finish Master bath update
#11 Master closet update

So, there ya go.  Some progress made on the smaller, less costly stuff.  I am working with my budget manager (hubby) to see what big project we can tackle this year.  It's between the kitchen or a bathroom.  I really want to do the kitchen, but the countertops are really holding me back - that will be the biggest expense and I don't know if we can swing that amongst the senior year expenses :).

Today I am tackling the craft closet - the decluttering part that is.  I've told you that as I have been organizing I have been piling in other areas.  This closet is scary folks - I instructed my husband to NOT open the door.  But, I have to open the door to get started it is

I KNOW RIGHT!!  That's a little embarrassing, but the best thing about a before picture this bad is that it makes the after picture look phenomenal!!  The worst part is, and my biggest motivator, all of my craft stuff is in there somewhere, which means I can't do any fun projects until it gets cleared out.  Better get to work!!  
Blessings and love to you all!!  Thanks for reading along :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Making Back to School a Little Easier

My kiddos start back to school tomorrow!!  (There may or may not be some happy dancing going on up in here around 8:30 am tomorrow - and that would be me and my hubby dancin' :)).  Maybe your kids have already started back to school, or maybe you're still on the countdown.  Either way I thought I would share with you today some of the things we have been doing the past few days in preparation for the new school year.  

The number one thing I dislike most about school starting (well, maybe #2 next to getting up early) is making lunches.  We pack lunches for our kids because there are four of them and we do not have a money tree in the back yard.  Last spring I started making bags of snacks up a week ahead of time.  I did this for two reasons - 1) an attempt to make lunch preparation easier in the morning - which it did and 2) if I didn't bag the snacks up the kids would eat them at other times and there would be nothing left for lunch the last few days, and our grocery budget would be spent!!

So, I pulled out these containers to store the bags in.  When I labeled my baking supplies I also labeled these.

One for crunchy and one for sweet.  No, these aren't the healthiest options for lunch and I am working on that, but for now this is what we got.

I also took a couple of minutes to clean the landing area - our entryway/mudroom.  Now it is ready for backpacks and such!!

When I was de-cluttering my entryway closet, I showed you my tower o' drawers, and my school/office supply storage - easy access and quick put-away is the goal here. There is so much paper that comes in this house it is ridiculous, so it is good for me to have a system.  When those weekly folders come in I sort through and pick out the good stuff which goes in their drawer, and all the other stuff goes in the recycling bin.  And, of course when the bigger kids decide to share with me something important from goes in their drawer as well.  {sigh}

I also re-organized our desk, and cleared out old calendars and out-dated papers. I also found ways to make the things my kids are always asking me for easily visible and accessible, so maybe they will stop asking me. {ha}  

So, backpacks are packed, outfits are picked out, lunch supplies are ready, and alarm clocks are set.  Here's to a great school year!! 

What have you done to make the transition from summer to school a little easier? I would love to hear your ideas!!  :)

Blessings all around!!

Linking up with Jen at I Heart Organizing

Friday, August 16, 2013

Insta-Friday {Aug 16th}

Sorry for being MIA for the past week or so.  I don't have a glamorous excuse really.  Getting kids ready for back to school, and spending a lot of time doing nothing.  I have to admit I've been in a weird funk for several days.  I'm over summer and ready for school to start so there will be some sort of order in this house - a schedule, a routine, a purpose.  However, I have mixed feelings - cuz truly I enjoy sleeping in as much as my kids do, (and honestly I just got my little boys to understand what it means to sleep in) and because I know as soon as school starts, I will blink and it will be over and I will be faced with graduation and college move in and so on....

But, whether I like it or not, time marches on.  So, I'm getting of the couch and getting things in order and ready to go.  (School starts Tuesday!)  

I'm sharing about three weeks of insta-photos to catch-up :)

All the other kiddos were off doing other activities on this day - and I found myself with some very hard to find one-on-one time with my youngest.  So, we went to his favorite place - the zoo!!

We have a cool new exhibit at our zoo where you can touch stingrays!!  Really awesome - there are also small sharks swimming around in here :).

Giraffes are his favorite animal, and we have missed feeding them every time we have come since they started this.  So, we made certain we got to feed them!!  He was beaming!!  It was truly a GREAT day!!

Our third kiddo off to his first youth activity at church.  Seems strange that I am more ready for him to start middle school than I am for him to start in the youth group.  He's ready, but I'm not quite.

Ya, the other thing I'm sooo not ready for - my girlie got her permit.  Ugh!!

I have been organizing the house all summer.  The other day my oldest said "is my room next?"  When a 17 year old asks you to help him clean and organize his room you say "yes".  So, we did.  Man, he is crafty at hiding junk!!

Then, there was this.  Walking the halls of middle school with this kiddo.  He's just still a little guy - how is this possible??  Dad tried to help him feel better about opening the lock on his locker - you know this is a big deal.  We walked his schedule and assured him that he would get lost, and that it would be ok ;).

I have been cooking a lot this summer!!  Yay me!!  This is one of family favorites, passed on from a friend - Poppy Seed Chicken - easy and super yummy!!

Sibling love y'all, it rarely happens, especially this far into the summer, so I had to snap a pic.

My little man decided he wanted to help me cook.  Yes!!  Love it!!

You can follow along daily on Instagram here.

I will be spending the weekend getting the last few things ready for school and sucking the last few fun, relaxing moments out of summer.

Hope your weekend is blessed!!

life rearranged

Friday, August 2, 2013

Happy Birthday frazzled JOY!!

Wow, has it really been a year since I started blogging??  I have to say that when I was first introduced to the blogging world, I had no idea what it was all about or how big it was!!  My friend Jennifer was telling me about a project she saw on a blog she liked to read – Thrifty Decor Chick.  It sounded cool, so I thought I would check it out.  I was instantly hooked!!  I soon found a couple of other design blogs that I enjoyed reading, but I didn’t subscribe to any – I know there are many of you out there.  J  Then Jennifer started her own blog.  I loved reading and seeing every project she did online because she is really talented!!  Then came pinterest and I was again sparked to take back up my passion for crafts, home improvement, DIY, and decorating.  After a while I decided that if all these others could do it maybe I could too.  I talked to my hubby about it several times, and he just kept saying, “yes, you should do it!”  Have I mentioned how awesome he is and how supportive?  Well, ya then he decided he wanted to blog too (he really is an excellent writer) – wait, what?  That was gonna be mine thing!!  So, I dove in head first, and started my random blogging, having no idea what I was doing – seriously no idea.  I learned as I went and am still learning!!  I also continued to find blogs through other blogs that I enjoyed reading.  While I love my decorating, DIY blogs, I have found that my taste has changed a little bit.  I am drawn to those who are so brave to share their stories of life – the hard things that we are all dealing with.  I am also drawn to those who aren’t afraid to share their faith – because really what’s faith if you’re not willing to share it. 

You may have noticed that I have a variety of things that I post about here.  I still love sharing my DIY faves, but honestly sometimes there are life things on my mind and my heart.  These posts have two purposes – one is to clear my mind – writing does that for me, the other is to encourage –whoever The Lord might have reading that might need a word of “you’re not the only one” that day.  I know that reading other peoples' stories makes me feel better some days –  it's just nice to know that you are not alone in the day to day frazzledness of life, and it makes me feel a little less insane.

As I sat in church on Sunday morning I was challenged about sharing my faith – and God brought this blog to my mind.  I realized that although I have mentioned my faith here there I had never really shared my story, my testimony.  So, I took some time and wrote out my journey to Jesus.  Also, I have created a tab with this story for future reference and a tab for more information about The Man I call Jesus and Savior.  Please feel free to email me any questions you may have.  Thanks for reading along and commenting and following and sharing.  I think the blog world is so interesting – all the cyber friends floating around out there J.  So much fun really!!

So, my story.  I did not grow up going to church with my family.  My only exposure to church was through going to church with friends.  The most frequent being a friend I met in first grade.  Every year she invited me to attend vacation bible school at her church.  I eagerly attended for many reasons.  She was a good friend, I am an only child so summer got boring and monotonous quickly, and I really enjoyed the time spent there.  From there I became involved in Wednesday night youth activities when I got old enough for that.  That too was fun.  That didn’t really last for too long, because in high school our relationship changed – our friend groups changed.  But, the seed was planted.  I knew God, and I believed he was a strong force in my life.  I was a miserable teenager – unhappy a lot.  Whether warranted, that’s how I remember myself.  I had hanging on my bedroom wall two crosses – which I think I found at garage sales – I would often sit in front of them and “pray”.  I didn’t really know who I was praying to, but I knew it made me feel better.  As I look back I know God was taking care of me even then.  Fast forward to college.  I met a boy.  The night we met we talked for hours, I went upstairs and told my roommate “I’m going to marry him” she thought I was crazy.  He was a church going boy, and he asked me to go to church with him, and honestly I jumped at the chance J.  That summer we attended his home church together.  One afternoon we were out driving around and he asked me if I knew Jesus.  I said “no”.  I knew by now who Jesus was but nothing more.  He shared Christ with me right there in his truck.  The next Sunday I walked the aisle at that small town Baptist church and gave my heart and life to Jesus.  I asked him to save me from my sins, and be the boss of my life.  Best decision I ever made!!  Two years later we were married in that church J.  Ha!  Told ya!

Jesus is a present figure in my life every day.  I could share endless stories of how our life events could only make sense because of God’s hand.  Many stories of monetary blessings that came at just the right time.  But I have to say the biggest thing is the peace and joy that he brings me every day.  Really as my blog title eludes, in the midst of my frazzled life I still have joy.  That joy can only come from The Lord.  See, there’s a difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness is dependent on our circumstances.  Joy only comes from The Lord.  Our knowledge that He is in control and that no matter how bad things seem at the time, in the end He has the victory!!  You see when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead He defeated the devil and the hold he has on God’s people.  My trust in God and the big picture allows me to retain my joy each and every day. 

An example – one day we came home from running some errands and there was water pouring down the driveway coming from the garage.  We opened the garage to see water spraying everywhere, coming from the hot water heater.  My hubby and I sat in the car and laughed out loud!!!  We then unloaded the car and proceeded to clean up the mess.  Joy!!  Were we happy that we had to repair the hot water heater, or clean up a water mess?  No, but in the grand scheme of things – joy!! 

I really could go on and on.  But not today.  J  Thanks for letting me tell my story, and if you made it this far – thanks for reading!!

Blessings to you and yours!!

Linking up with Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions here
250 Titus 2 Tuesday