Friday, June 29, 2012

My Joy of Reading

I call it joy.  My husband would say I have a problem.  Regardless of who you are talking to, I love to read.  I read any and every kind of book.  I am breaking my silence and recommending some of my favorites!

I'll admit it, I am a fan of Harry Potter.  I reread this series quite often just for the fun of it.  I love escaping into a world of imagination.

    While I'm in the genre of fantasy, I will also say that I love the Eragon series.  This is a series about elves, dragons, dwarfs...a fun read!  My friend back in the cities got me started on this one and I couldn't put it down.  I finished all 4 books within 2 weeks time (I may have a slight problem).

The Hobbit and J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) make the list of fantasy novels as well.

MOVING on from Fantasy (I could spend some time there...) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE historical fiction and Christian historical fiction.  Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors, along with the following:


  Redeeming Love is a book I will read when I want a love story that will melt your heart, make you cry, speak to your soul, and give you hope and joy.  It is such a good book!!!


      The Dakotah Series books by Lauraine Snelling are books I recommend to others all the time.  Growing up in North Dakota, these books are extra special for me to read.  I have visited the towns she writes about and can visualize the small towns in the days of the settlers.


        The English Garden Series by Lori Wick are excellent Christian historical fiction reads as well.  I enjoy a good love story that shows the struggles and triumphs of a man and woman striving to keep God at the center of their relationship.  These books are just what the doctor ordered if you are looking for the same kind of story!

Last books - I really like suspense, murder mystery, thriller books as well.  I told you I liked them all.  And I'm only showing you the tip of the iceberg in fiction.  :)

 Stephanie Plum novels have got me laughing out loud.  They are more comedic murder mystery, but they still fit in this genre.  The language is a little more crude than I would usually like, but she is so crazy, it's hard not to get into these.  A woman bounty hunter that has a reputation for blowing up cars...it doesn't get much wackier.

A start to my book collection for you.  I'll add more as I continue to find new, great reads!  It shouldn't be too much longer before I add more.  I have a lot of books on my reading list!  If you have any suggestions for me, PLEASE leave me a comment and give your recommendations!  I'm always looking for new books!

Blessings,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not So Hot Inside Anymore!

I forgot to update you about our air conditioner!  We had been living in over 80 degrees this past weekend...INSIDE our house.  It was miserable!  We had it looked at Monday afternoon, after I talked to our landlord's office.  I stressed the point that my children couldn't handle that.  Once they cleaned out the A/C, you could feel a difference right away.  It still took until Tuesday to get caught up, but it has been working great ever since.  It's amazing how quiet the house can get when the A/C isn't running!

We are thankful it was a quick fix and for your prayers!  It is HOT here this week and by hot, I mean heat index feeling like it's over 100 degrees every day.  Not so fun for a family that is used to 80s being hot!

Blessings,



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home Decor on a Dime

I am always looking for ways to decorate my home without spending a lot of money.  I want a house that is welcoming, restful, cozy and 'home'.  I don't want it to cost me an arm and a leg though.  It can be done, you just have to be willing to look and sometimes get creative.

I have a lot of pictures in my house.  I have boxes of pictures that aren't even hung because I don't have enough room on my walls!  Here's why I have so many pictures:

I like to take images from cards, calendars, postcards, magazines, books and posters and cut them to the right size and frame them.  I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a framed, matted picture when I can make it myself for pennies.  

This is a card I received in the mail years ago.  I cut it down to fit in a 5x7 picture frame.  (I got this picture frame in high school as a gift.)  I have always loved these Renoir paintings of the dancing couples.  Now I have one framed in my room!

This is a poster I had been admiring at Michael's for quite a while and finally bought when they had them on sale.  I also got the big frame from Michael's when it was on sale also.  They entire picture cost me around $40.  The side "matting" is actually the paper that came inside of the frame.  I actually saw this same picture for sale at Menard's for $249!  I was so excited that mine was 84% cheaper!


I found this black and white photo of a North Dakota farmstead in an old book that had been bought at an estate auction.  I opened up the cover and this treasure was inside!  I framed it in a frame I got as a Christmas gift and have plans to hang it in my kitchen again soon.  For now, it is gracing the top of my bookshelf.


The photos below are actually pictures I cut out of a magazine and framed in 4x6 frames I bought from IKEA.  The tulips are actually a postcard I trimmed down to fit in the frame.  



This picture is one of my favorites.  It is of the Chenonceau castle in France.  My 2010 calendar was titled "France" and I found this picture and a few others in it.  I just framed it in a 8x10 frame I bought on clearance for $2.  


I kinda go overboard cutting out pictures, but I have so many frames that I've been given or bought for SUPER cheap.  I rarely need to buy a frame for a picture I find.  I always have something to switch out when I want to switch up the feel of a room!

Have fun finding new inexpensive treasures!!

Blessings,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

I got this idea from a friend of mine who makes her own hand soap.  I decided to try it a while ago.  It saves a bunch of money on hand soap and it's much easier for my kids to use than regular soap.  Yes please!

 First step, you need to buy a foaming soap dispenser and use up all the soap inside.  I bought mine for about $6.00 at Target.
  
Once you finish the foaming soap, put 2 tablespoons of liquid hand soap into the dispenser.  Fill with cold water and shake it up a little bit.
And that is it!  Super easy!  I refill my dispensers on average, once a month.  It really does save a lot of money on hand soap.



Saving money and staying clean is every mom's dream come true!

Blessings,


Monday, June 25, 2012

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hot this past weekend.  It was 100 degrees and felt like 105.  That was outside.  Inside, our house was a balmy 83 degrees.  It stayed above 80 all day.  As you can see, our thermostat was set at 72.  There is definitely something WRONG with our A/C.  Not fun, since our forecast is above 100 for the next week and a half.  On my list of things to do!

We decided to spend the weekend outside in our pool.  It was a continuous cycle of filling the pools with cold water, then dumping out the warm water.  It was like getting into a hot tub if we waited before dumping it out too long.  Not that refreshing on a hot day.  


My 2 year old loves to be outside, regardless of the weather.  He insisted that we needed to take it easy.  "Let's relax, momma."  So I snapped a picture of him doing just that.  He's such a ham!


I'm praying I can give an update in the next couple of days saying that our A/C has been fixed and our house is not a sweat lodge anymore.  It is the little things that we take for granted, like an air conditioned house, that remind me of how much I have to be thankful for!!

It is always an adventure!

Blessings,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chores Galore!

I have been tripping over toys, shoes, books, papers, you name it, I've seen it on my floor.  If we clean up the house, it takes about 20 minutes before it is a disaster again.  I finally had had enough and decided to get some sort of order.  I'm not saying my kids don't clean up, they do a great job when they stay focused, but if there are other things on their minds, picking up does not get done.  It was time to get our chores organized. (YIPPIE!! Organization!!!!)



I first saw this chore chart on Homeschool Creations blog.  I looked at it and looked at it, and finally decided to print it off.  I am glad I did.  My boys want to do chores now.  They love being able to take off their picture tags when they've completed a chore. 

I attached the tags with Velcro Sticky-Back Hook and Loop Fasteners, 0.625 Inches Diameter Coins, Clear, 75 per Pack (91302) .  They are super easy to use and I don't have to cut them this time!!  :)
  
I taped the boys' charts onto the side of their bed.  I also taped an envelope below it for their completed chore cards.
  

I knew my 5 year old could water the plants if I helped him a little.  I took a plastic cup and marked a fill line with a Sharpie inside of the cup.  I labeled the outside as well and drew a picture of a spider plant.  (Each child has one that was started from my parent's spider plant.)  Jeremiah gets really excited when this tag comes up!  


One of Benjamin's chores was to pick up books.  The majority of the books were under his bed. 

I needed a few extra tags, so I made my own in the above table.  I added a picture for putting books away, wiping off the kitchen chairs, and 2 pictures of a boy reading devotions.  If you want to print these off, right click the image and choose 'Save Image As'.  Then print away!

It eases my stress (and foot pain) to have these chores in place.  I am thrilled that my kids enjoy doing their chores.  This is instilling values of good work ethics, responsibility, and helping them stay out of trouble!  It's a win-win for mom and kids.  :)

Blessings,





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