Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Chapter 3


It is all around us. Songbirds sharing their early morning melodies, the winding whistling through the trees behind our house, the rhythm of the washing machine as it thump-thump-thumps our dirty clothing clean, the slap-slap-slap of a toddlers barefeet as he runs down the hallway to greet Daddy at the end of the day.

And, yes, there is the Chamber Choir and the Symphony Orchestra and the Grammy Award Winners and the Christian Pop Singer of the day.

And, yes, the boy who sits methodically playing his not-quite-perfected-scales over and over and over again, and the sscccreeeeeeching of the violin as a daughter practices diligently each day after school lessons are over.

My summary of Edith Schaeffer's chapter on 'Music' is this:  Make Music. Wherever you are. Because. Just Because.

singing with my granddaughter and sweet friend

My friend Nancy told me a few months back that she was having a wonderful week. The reason it was so wonderful? She was making music. After the children were tucked into bed at night, she would sit down and play the piano, all by herself, no audience, for pure pleasure. She said it improved her mood and outlook on life and she had so much more to give to her family the next day. She decided she would give herself permission to do this on a regular basis. Very therapeutic. Her family often sings and plays together, but taking time to sit and enjoy just for her own pleasure restored her soul.

So, how can we incorporate music into our everyday lives? Sing! Play! Listen!  We enjoy listening to Steve Green's "Hide 'Em' In Your Heart"  cd's while riding in the car.  Little Rebekah has taken it upon herself to load up the stereo most every day, with her choice of 'pretty' music (Bach, Chopin, Mozart).  I highly recommend the Classical Music study by Beautiful Feet. It is interesting, fun, and motivates a body to a greater appreciation of The Classics. My family especially enjoys singing hymns and songs of praise together, glorifying God the Father and Jesus the Son.

A passing comment from one of my children will often result in Mom breaking out in song, usually from a long-ago commercial jingle or old-timey song I heard on the radio in years gone by. I enjoy music from eras way before I was born (yes, there was music before I was born, and I'm not talking about Baroque!) and a little rolling of the eyes from my sweet kiddos does not deter me - they enjoy it, really they do.

spontaneous concert NewYear's Eve
making music with friends
What would it be like, watching a movie without a soundtrack. I imagine there was music when God was busy those very first 6 days creating the heavens and the earth. Can't you just hear the angels singing and applauding?

To read how others have been inspired by this chapter on making music, please check over at My Homey Haven, where I'll be linking up for this week's study.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One chilly morning, a hot cup of coffee, a warm scone fresh out of the oven, my Bible and comfy chair.
Perfect way to start the day. 

Today's To-Do List:
  • laundry
  • math and other necessary school activities
  • schedule check-up appointments for everyone with Dr.
  • start seed trays with the kids
  • put in some time on scrapbooking/Beading cabinets (Organizing Project, y'know)
  • paint pegboard for sewing area
  • implement first day of Nony's 28 Days to Hope plan before I head to bed tonight

Friday, February 24, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge - Update #3

Making Progress! I'm working my way through the P.R.O.C.E.S.S. If you would like to read about the beginning of this adventure you can check out these posts:
Taking the Challenge
Update #1
Update #2

During 'R' mode (Removing everything from cabinets) we filled 3 trash bags headed for the dumpster and 3 boxes headed to GoodWill. How is that for purging?

I'm finishing up 'C' mode right now --  Containerizing. This is fun, like playing a game or assembling a puzzle. I collected unused baskets and bins from around the house, plus those emptied earlier in this Process. I also picked up a few at the Dollar Tree and WallyWorld.

As the containers are filled and labeled and find new homes in the cabinets, I find myself in 'E' and 'S' modes -- Evaluate, Solve, Simplify. I have to step back from time to time and ask myself questions like "are we REALLY going to use these?" "is there TRULY enough room for all this?" "will we ACTUALLY use this space in this way?" I had a few grandiose ideas about how I was going to shake things up and get with the program and make this the most awesome hobby center ever! Whoa, Girl! Pull back on the reins! GET REAL! For the most part, we've become accustomed to this area housing toys, craft and hobby supplies, and our sewing center. So, knowing that re-training new habits is something I was just not up to right now, I made choices to purge and condense and fit items back into similar groupings, and back into the same general areas. This is what is going to work for my family. The toys are pretty much done, the kids craft supplies are done, the scrapbooking and beading supplies are nearly finished. I still need to get photo boxes for storage and decide which drawer/cabinet the beading will go into. And then there is the sewing center. My fabric stash is taken care of, but I still have some work to do installing a wall organizer unit for all my notions and tools. Luke said he'd help me with that at the beginning of next week (he promises we'd have it done by Wednesday night. I LOVE having handy-men in the family!)

Here are a few 'Before' and 'After' Pictures for you.

art supplies before containerizing

art supplies after containerizing

toys before purging, sorting, containerizing

toys after purging, sorting, containerizing

And so, I am breathing a little easier now, but still have a ways to go. It's do-able! Yes, indeed we are going to do it! On March 1st I'll be posting a Big Reveal post, showing off our finished Hobby Room. (Ok, everyone will still call it The Basement or Downstairs . . . but me . . . after all this? Hobby Room it's going to be!) So be sure to check back next week for the  final result.

To see what others are doing this month as they take on the challenge, you can check out today's link up at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

eBook from a favorite blogger

Now that I've spent the month of February cleaning out/purging/re-organizing the downstairs area, I'm looking to learn new habits so we can stay on top of things around here. My brain seems to be wired differently than the average person. I have always thought I must be the only one in the world to struggle so much with keeping order in their homes.

And then I discovered someone who's brain works just like mine! Wow! This gal was so amazing - she would write the exact words that had been floating around in my head. She would publish online EXACTLY what I have done/thought/felt. I proceeded to read her blog, A Slob Comes Clean from her very first post to the current (at the time) and have continued to check in on her regularly. She calls herself  'Nony' (short for anonymous) and she's become like a friend, a mentor, a cheerleader. She doesn't even know me, but she's done a great deal to motivate me as she has worked the last couple of years to figure out WHY she is the way she is and WHAT to do to change it. 'De-slobification' she calls it.

Ok, back to my developing new, better habits. Nony has written an ebook sharing her life-changing tips for order, peace and hope of a more organized home. I have purchased/downloaded 28Days to Hope for Your Home {not for the mildly disorganized}and will be reading through it this weekend. Nony is a riot! I just love her! She gives an honest and humorous look into her own life, which speaks directly to mine.

Check out her blog, and check out her book (it's half price through the end of February, so now is the time to buy!)

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