Thursday, August 29, 2013

Helpful Tools

I just love the laminate floors in our new home.
The continuity throughout the house makes the place look larger.
They are so much cleaner than the well worn carpet in our old place.
Have you ever noticed that it is more fun to clean when the results are evident?

It is easier to feel dirt under my feet ...
and my hair, which falls out a lot, blows around,
and the grass clippings are more than evident.

I used to clean my linoleum once or twice a week on my hands and knees,
but the laminate needs to be cleaned daily.

Today I am thankful for helpful tools.
A swiffer type mop ...

wrapped in a microfiber cloth ...

sprayed with a laminate cleaner made from a recipe found on pinterest ...

Aah! Clean floors!

I am thankful that my flowers are all moved now.

I am thankful for sore muscles - 
evidence that I am back to my exercise routine.

I am thankful that fall is on its way - right?
Super warm and humid today!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Big "If"

Proverbs 16:31 
The hoary head is a crown of glory, 
if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Do you want the crown of glory in old age?
Age may earn respect,
but what about the crown?
The crown of glory goes to the righteous.

I would like to make it to the end of my life
and possess the crown of glory.
I would like righteousness to be seen by others.

Righteousness ...
being characterized by doing right,
consistency in right actions,
faithfulness to God until the end.

And the crown?
If I were to attain the crown,
it is not for me,
but to give to my Savior - 
to Him belongs all glory!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Welcome! Come on In!

Here is the room that will welcome you to our new abode.
We study here,
entertain here,
workout here,
relax here ...

Here is the view from the kitchen:

And the view from the front door:

Still enjoying the laminate floors.
The tile entry way is larger here than at our former trailer - love that.

Glad to have you stop by!

Monday, August 26, 2013

From the Kitchen

It is nice to be back to my normal domestic tasks.
While I still have some flower bulbs to move this week,
the stress of the move seems to be passed.
(I say stress, but it was really more of a busy-ness than stress)

Last week, I broke with my traditional cooking and just experimented.
I typically follow recipes to a "T".
Not a big experiment,
but a worthy one.

 Parmesan Tilapia
Tilapia fillets
Coconut Oil
Parmesan Cheese
Mediteranean Sea Salt

Melt coconut oil in the bottom of a pyrex or metal pan.
Put fish in the pan and coat with the oil.
Sprinkled with Parmesan and Sea Salt.
Baked at 375* for 12-15 minutes.

It was so tasty that I am making it for company tonight.
Hubby requested homemade french fries as well.
Maybe I will also get a carrot slaw made.

It is cleaning day,
and I think that it will be a drier day for mowing.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Paint Free and Muddy

There is always so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful to put away my paint "uniform" for awhile.

We bought it at Goodwill on our first full day in Shelby five years ago.
It has redwood stain, roasted tomato paint, espresso cabinet paint,
celery, horseradish, pine bark, and antique white from the walls.
I have some paint t-shirts that add some other colors from our first two apartments.
It can go into hiding until we repaint the exterior of the trailer.

I have moved on to gardening uniforms which are now covered in grass and red clay stains.

I am thankful for the rain.
The transplanting of the flowers,
though messy,
has a much greater chance of success due to the overcast skies and regular rains.

Lots of mud.
The two bushes used to be here.

Started with 3 rose bushes,
filling in with transplanted perennials.

I still have a ways to go - but have 10 more days to move the rest of the plants.

I am thankful for the removal of two bushes
and thankful for friends with large trucks and chains.

You can see the ruts left from the truck.

I am thankful that our college students are back.

I am thankful for the approach of fall - 
I actually saw some changing leaves on Monday.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No One Likes a Hypocrite

Proverbs 16:24 
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, 
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Does it seem as if women have the most trouble with their words?
Gossip, back biting, shortness with family members.
The writer of Proverbs reminds us that our words can bring health and sweetness.
My Bible linked me to this verse.

Proverbs 15:26 b
...but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

While there is truth that the manner the words are spoken and the words themselves 
help to make pleasant words,
 the cross-reference reminded me that pleasant words also come from a life without hypocrisy.

Do you have struggles in your home or ministries?
Could they come because you say one thing and do another?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No Longer a Storage Room

In our last trailer,
this room was storage.
A chest freezer,
file cabinets,
basic tools,
gym equipment,
desktop computer,
ebay seller center.

Basically it was a catch-all and a real hassle when we wanted to enjoy overnight guests.

So glad for the new room.
It is a bit of a decorating struggle - because it is fairly small.
It really is the size for an office, or nursery.

This is where we sleep when we share "the retreat" with our guests.
We will be glad for the flip-out double bed instead of an air mattress or the floor.
The extra bedding hides inside the sofa, ready for use.

Yes, there is still little storage.
The end table is a bucket of grain.
I still need to sew a little table cloth.
And the weights still remain -
exercise is important.

Still deciding on decorations for the walls.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where did I put that ... ? Part II

It has been an abnormal summer all around.
An abundance of rain,
Two lots of grass to mow every 4-5 days,
renovation on a new house,
weekly care of two houses.

With all of the work,
my schedule has practically flown out the window.

It is time to get back to some structure.
language study,
structured cleaning at church,
music practice,
measured eating ...

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Celebrating 11 years today.
And yes, I will continue to have and hold ...

It grows better each year!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Psalm 91:2

Final part of "the Retreat."
I love the message, the reminder, the layout and the fonts of the verse.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We Are Out

Yes, it has been a week since we moved into the new trailer.
For about a week, a pile still remained in the old trailer - 
The pile of things looking for a new home.
Some were pictures,
some were drawer contents with no corresponding drawer in the new home,
some were repair supplies.

I finally got it all out yesterday and cleaned each room.

Today I finish repainting the rooms.

I am thankful to be down to caring for only one home again.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have pared down again - 
there is nothing like a move to help minimize things.
I am also thankful for a cool morning - all of the windows open - 
and the fresh air blowing through - Beautiful!

Next step ...
moving my flower beds!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Proper Values

Proverbs 16:8 
Better is a little with righteousness 
than great revenues without right.

Once again, the writer of Proverbs reminds us to have proper values.
He reminded us to value the fear of the Lord and love in chapter 15,
and now he reminds us to protect and cultivate righteousness.

Righteousness ...
doing right ...
with conviction.

Just do right!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Retreat

When we were first married,
we were very "on the go."
We did not exhibit a lot of peace in our lives.
One of our favorite activities was to go away and find quaint B&B's to enjoy.
During the 4 years in WA,
that activity increased
and I would spend many hours of each deployment
searching for the perfect homecoming B&B.

One of my desires in our home is to create that restful feeling of a B&B.
A cozy space.
A pleasant space.
A place that encourages me to stay put.
A place that I can offer to our guests.

Here are the before shots of the Master Bedroom and Nook.

 We love our new Bedroom Retreat.
It is very open and restful.

View from the bedroom door.
The comforter has pinecones on it.
It was a find at Cabelas on our way from WA to NC.
Hubby loves the accent walls.
See the cradle grandpa made me in the corner - full of photo albums.
This brown wall is awaiting a decorative verse.
The picture is a bit dark because it is an overcast day.
The "nook" filled up with my dresser.
The cedar chest grandpa made is under the medicine chest.
The vanity was repainted and received some hardware.
The basic mirrors have brown tulle and pine branches at the corners.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Where Did I Put That ...?

The tough part of moving ...
figuring out the light switches,
finding items in the new cabinets ...

It will be a little interesting for awhile.

Friday, August 9, 2013

We Are In

We got the big furniture moved last night in about an hour.
The rain held off and the moving/lifting straps really helped us.
Hubby hung some bath cabinets and put in the last trim strips around a vanity.
There are some small things that I need to move today,
and then the finally settling in.
Looking forward to a relaxing Saturday.

For those of you who have our old address and would like our new address,
just change the trailer number from 5 to 2.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Big Day

Today is moving day.
The big furniture will be moved tonight
(about 7 pieces)
and then I will finish the little stuff tomorrow.

I am thankful for our first home.
I am thankful for the time to make it our own.
I am thankful for the resources that made it possible.
I am thankful for the ability to work.
I am thankful for a hubby with carpentry skills.
I am thankful that I get to sleep in my new home tonight!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Playing Ball

Proverbs 16:3 
Commit thy works unto the LORD, 
and thy thoughts shall be established. 

As I was reading in Proverbs this week,
a note about this verse caught my eye.
The note said that the word "commit" meant "to roll."

As I meditated and studied the verse further,
I thought of the mess I can make of my plans and my actions.
A big mess - kind of like a tangled ball of yarn.
I am to roll my tangled plans to God.
God will then return my thoughts and plans;
Instead of being a mess,
they will be firm, established, stable.

Can you picture it now?
It is kind of like that costume jewelry that you had as a little girl.
Oh, those necklaces could tangle;
and you could take it to your father,
and he would patiently untangle the mess and make the jewelry usable again.

We just need to turn over the mess!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Grandparent Room

I call this sweet little guestroom "The Grandparent Room."
It has the fingerprints of our grandparents throughout.

The pastel blue and green nursery ... when we bought the trailer.

 The new little guestroom - especially for two little girls who visit often.
One has to sleep on an exercise mat on the floor :)

The headboard and bookshelf were made in cherry by my maternal grandfather.
He also made a matching cedar chest (with cedar from my childhood home),
a large cradle, and a small hanging cabinet.

The little doll on the bed was made by my paternal grandmother
out of an heirloom pillowcase.

The dressers were a contribution from hubby's maternal grandmother.
They are well constructed and I hope to refinish them one day.

I have never met my hubby's grandparents,
but I value the special memories and gifts from my grandparents.
It is a blessing to see their special gifts in use and to have learned from them.
They are each special and unique ...
a dairy farmer and school bus driver,
a farm wife and teacher,
a master craftsman of wood,
and a beautician and summer park coordinator.

And "the nook" in the master bedroom is coming along.

In the original trailer, the garden tub sat in this corner.
I imagine the tub cracked or broke in some way and the cost to repair or replace was prohibitive.
It then became a study with built in desk and bookshelves.
This was a great idea, but the unfinished wood was not much to look at.


Remember the mess on the walls after removing the desk and shelves.
This actually looks good compared to the holes and torn wall paper board that was left at first.
Joint compound and sealant primer are my friends!

The nook today.
Hubby did a great job hanging the paintable wallpaper.
We were both very nervous about this job - 
we had never hung paper (except borders);
and we had visions of certain disaster in our minds.
It was time consuming and messy,
but we are more than pleased with the results.
In person, you can still see the line where the garden tub used to be,
and a couple of "scars" from the desk,
but it was the best option for sure!

Monday, August 5, 2013

God is Enough

The theme of yesterday's messages at church was "God is Enough."
God continually told His people, Israel, not to forsake Him,
not to turn to idols.
The same is true for us today.
What am I trusting in?
Is it myself?
The failing government?
a bank account?
a new home?

I am only as secure as the object of my trust.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I have never been one for surprises - 
especially the unpleasant kinds.

Starter homes and/or trailers provide many surprises.
Last night we were prepping the last walls for paint.
When we removed a mirror, what should we find but a large hole.
 It appears that at one point access was needed to the shower pipes on the other side of the wall.
We were planning to get rid of the mirror, 
but it seems to be serving a very useful purpose right now.
We also found another faucet to replace.
The good news is that, in many areas, we are getting a "fresh" start 
and we have been thankful that we did not end our current lease in until September 1.

Hubby and I are going to learn to wallpaper this weekend.
We have one "nook" of the house with walls that are in rough shape.
There used to be a large garden tub in the nook,
and then a built-in desk and shelves,
and soon it will hold my dresser.
We are going to put up some paintable wallpaper to cover the very imperfect walls.

After this project is complete - I only have 2 vanities to paint!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


 Psalm 84:11 
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: 
the LORD will give grace and glory: 
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

I love this verse for many reasons.
I love the final promise - 
I may not have all that I think I need,
but I know that if I am living right,
God is not withholding good things from me.

This week I am thankful for the grace that He gives.
Grace in hard situations.
Grace when I am worn down.
Grace to do the right thing.
Grace to rejoice with them that rejoice.
Grace to weep with them that weep.
Grace to keep going.

I am thankful that His grace is sufficient in all situations.