Thursday, September 29, 2011

Choosing Simplicity.... with my clothing

I just went through my closet and got rid of well over half of my clothing.  I will be the first person to admit that I am in NO way a fashionista!  Any of my real life friends will tell ya that!  I do try to dress a little cute and not totally frumpy and out dated.  I like the 'classic' look over trendy.  Although, a lot of days I'm neither.... working in my barn or garden!

I gave away quite a lot and put some up in the upstairs closet (just in case I really can't live with this pared down selection).  I am a big Money Saving Mom fan and she is a MINIMALIST in all aspects.  I am not, but I try not too keep things we don't use/need or love.  She recently posted a few blog posts about her TINY wardrobe.  I found this one to be particularly inspiring.  In fact I printed it off and my daughter and I have talked a lot about it and how we could implement this into our own clothing.

A couple of weeks ago I did a closet purge and then today I really dove in and pulled out another half.  My wardrobe is a little more complicated than some.... I need:
  • *work* clothes.... ya know the kind you wear in the barn, garden, butchering animals and to doing home remodel projects.  
  • I also need clothes to wear on the job site ( I work part time for (and with) my husband in our Ceramic Tile business...  thus I have to have work shirts with our company logo and  jeans
  • I also have my "home days" clothes 
  • and clothes for volunteering at the school, going to  church, bible study, date nights and the few extra nice things for weddings and funerals.
 When I was going through my clothes I really tried hard to only keep things that mixed and matched easily with the other things I chose to keep.  I focused on ONE type of clothing at a time.  I also took out the summer clothes that I won't need for several months to come.... sniff, sniff!  When I put it all together it is much more than 13 items like in the Money Saving Mom post.  However, each category of clothing doesn't have much more than that.  I will try to post some pictures soon!

I am excited to live with a small wardrobe again..... I grew up with MINIMALIST wardrobe and home and don't ever remember feeling deprived.  Now I need to go through my kid's clothes and pare down with them, too.  Keep what we LOVE and use and get rid of the rest! 

What about you??  Are you a minimalist or fashion queen??  I want to look *cute* sometimes, but I have to admit that comfort is my main thing. 

Have a BLESSED day,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our YOUTH rise up and SEEK the Lord!! See you at the pole!

 This morning, bright and early, 40+ kids met at our local jr/sr high to PRAY and PRAISE!!!  What a sight to see!!!  God is GOOD and the youth are rising up!!!!  I am so proud of my oldest two serving God as group leaders and praising God on the worship team.  It was so encouraging to see these youth live out their faith and make a stand that they are NOT ashamed of JESUS!!!

 We are so blessed to live in a nation with FREEDOM to meet and pray without fear.

May God answer the prayers of these faithful youth and all the youth that gathered today across the nation!!!

I was also greatly encouraged today to see our vice principle (public school mind ya) JOIN in prayer WITH the youth!!!!  He not only showed his support for this event, but PRAYED with the kids!

Did your kids/your local school participate in this national event??

Here is some information about the national "See you at the pole" event:

See You at the Pole™, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. Twenty years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September.

See You at the Pole™ is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.

Have a BLESSED day,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Making Mistakes! Making Right.

Oh, how very many mistakes I make.....

How often I goof up and don't handle things right.

 This morning was one of those mornings.  The Monday morning madness.  Try as I may I don't always have smooth sailing.  I said stinging and hurtful words to my daughter.  She got hurt and said stinging and hurtful words to me.


Can we just all go back to bed and start over??

No.  Drat.

I repent.  God forgives.  But the hurt is still there.  God, how do I make this right?  How did it go so wrong?  The truth?  EXPECTATIONS were not met.  She did not meet mine, I lashed out.   If we had just communicated earlier we would have been on the same page.  Learning this lesson..... AGAIN!!  Why am I such a slow learner??

Dropped the boys off at the bus stop and kept daughter with me.  I drove her the long way to school so we could talk.  Repented to her, asked her forgiveness.  We talked over what happened and how we should have handled all things concerned.  We grow.... together.... in this thing call life.  We grow.... together in learning to be more like Christ.  We have a heart to heart about some of the things that are causing each of us stress.  We determine to support and encourage one another rather than create more frustration.  We create a plan for expectations for the rest of the week.  Learning.  Loving.

By the time she headed into school the tears were replaced by smiles.  We prayed together and we gave our day to Christ.  Oh, am I so thankful for God's love, mercy and grace!  I am thankful that God never gives up on me and that HE works in our life!  Life will never, ever be perfect.... but with the Lord it is never hopeless!

Have a BLESSED day,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You know you are a COUNTRY GIRL when......

I know I'm a country girl and I'm proud of it!  However, I sometimes realize how very different I am from some of my friends!  LOL!  That's ok differences are good.

Are you a "country girl" like me??

  A look back at my last few weeks.....

You know you are a country girl when.....

...... you open the back door and let out a good holler .... "supper is ready" to bring your kids in from the back pasture!   My sister did give me a dinner bell for Christmas last year.... maybe I should start actually using it!  LOL  Wait a minute... having a dinner bell might just make me a country girl, too! help your husband hang tree stands up in the woods in preparation for deer season! ask your friend (that just put together a whole new outside playground area for her kids) where the sand box is only to be told that sand boxes are not allowed at their house because they drag in too much dirt! oohhhh  ha ha!  Now that must be why I can't keep my house clean!  Blame it on the kids and their sandbox.  :) get excited to find 100% alfalfa pellets at the local farm store.  Now I can get GREEN into my chickens diet all winter.  The green leafy foods I feed them all summer .... read weeds from the garden... really make some very yellow yokes in the eggs.  Now we won't have pale egg yokes in the winter!!  yippee!! can butcher pigs right in your own back yard and then make your own sausage. hang clothes on the clothes line and then it rains so you keep them out there for THREE days! get excited when farmers start harvesting the fields because it means you can see the school bus coming from farther down the road!

What about you???  Got any "you know you are a country girl" experiences from your own life that you can tell me about??  Do you LOVE being a country girl??  I think it is just the best!

Have a BLESSED day,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Words to live by.....

 This sits on my kitchen counter to serve as a constant reminder!  I've had it there for a year and a half and
still love and need the message!

Life really is in the moment..... 
I am trying to focus on each thing I am doing
Living intionally and appreciating the experiences of life.

Rather than focusing on the NEXT thing on my "to do" list
I try to LIVE in the moment I am in.....
Experiencing life to the fullest by living life in all five senses.
It really is amazing when we slow down to EXPERIENCE
life enjoying what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.

What to you hear right now??  What do you smell??
What do you feel?

Also living in the moment helps me to RELAX rather than rush.  It helps me to enjoy small moments of 
time and to focus on all the little things that are truly  
huge blessings!!

This post is linked to Ordinary Days

Have a BLESSED day,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10 ways to CHOOSE SIMPICITY everyday!

Choosing Simplicity is just that.... a choice.  It has nothing to do with where you live, marital status, how many kiddos you have or how much money you have in the bank.  It is daily choices made in the living of life.

We have a quote hanging on our fridge right now (I wish I could remember where I got it so if any of you know please let me in on that)..... 

The HAPPIEST people don't 
HAVE the BEST of everything.....
They MAKE the MOST of everything!

I think that sums up life... it is all in the attitude.

Anyway, I came across a list from a post I did at the start of 2010 and realized how relevent it is for me today so I tweaked it a bit and am re-posting it below.   


I have put a lot of thought into our family life and am being very deliberate about these 10 choices. I really want to continue to CHOOSE SIMPLICITY for our life... not get so consumed and busy with the ways of life that I miss out on ENJOYING life!!! Life is so fleeting and living life in the moment, in the day is going to be a huge priority for me. I don't want to look back and regret that I didn't cherish these precious days...

Life is just plain hard... just plain complicated. Creating a 'simple life' is actually more like swimming up stream. It requires deliberate fighting of this worlds current. It isn't easy, but it is worth it. As we have done some changes in our lifestyle over the past year I have found that change isn't easy, but rewarding.

As 2010 brings in a new decade I have to face the reality that this is my final decade as a mother with all my children at home. When this decade wraps up my oldest two will be in college and my youngest two in their last high school years. These next ten years are going to fly by... I am going to live them DELIBERATELY!!! It starts NOW!!

10 Ways to CHOOSE SIMPLICITY Everyday
(some of these may work for you, others may not... living deliberately is living in the way that is best for YOUR family)

  1. Live DELIBERATELY: Choose what I do, and what I don't do, based on mindful and prayerful thought and purpose rather than randomness or based on cultural expectations. Requires understanding what to keep and what to toss in our schedule, home and heart!
  2. Rudder hour is precious: The first hour of the day sets the tone for my remaining hours.... it steers me in the right direction! Guarding this hour and spending it wisely is key. Getting up an hour before my children so that I can shower, dress, pray and reflect in QUIETNESS and without disturbance will give me a chance to get a fresh start on the day without immediately feeling behind.
  3. Re-focus/ re-commit to my daily and weekly routines. Rather than thinking "I'll do that later" my mantras have to be "Do it now" and "What can I do now that will make things easier for later"! Flylady has been such an inspiration (and answer to prayer) during the last 6 years (my flying anniversary is January 2004). I have pulled out my control journal and have written up fresh routines. The CREATIVE person that I am has a hard time with feeling confined to routine, but in the end I have so much more peace when I stick to the schedule!!
  4. Use up or re-purpose what I already have rather than buy more. This will not only help to reduce clutter, but will save money. I will continue to focus on creating home made gifts (this allows me to tap in to my creative side). Really evaluate any and all purchases to see if there is anyway I can make due without it or create it from something I already have.
  5. Focus on being a CON-SERVER rather than a CON-SUMER. This somewhat ties into #4, but goes a step further... it is an attitude of the heart! It is about reducing that "want, want, want, need, need, need" pulse that beats so strong in our modern world. It is also about being a wise steward of the resources we have and using what we have to the fullest. (and not filling up the landfills)
  6. Minimize the belongings in our home. Stuff comes with such a cost... keeping it clean, organized and functioning. It also costs money to acquire, maintain and replace. So much of what we have we do not NEED. Evaluating our 'stuff' and shaving off the unnecessary extras will make daily life easier... it is so much simpler to pick up one basket of toys rather than three!
  7. Maintain a low level of "Screen Time" in our home. Screen time sucks the life out of developing creativity and being an active participant in this life God has given. It is SO easy to let the hours slip away in front of the tv or computer. Over Thanksgiving break we had a NO screen time week and since then have been very conservative with our screen time. The results: more creativity, more family time, more games, more music, more baking, more laughter... more LIVING!!
  8. CHOOSE my attitude and my actions based on walking out the fruits of the Spirit rather than following how I am feeling. Feelings are so fickle and not at all reliable. The fruit of the Spirit will never let me down. I will TELL myself how to act rather than be swept away by emotions. I will also SMILE more.... smiles are a gift we give to others that is usually returned. I am going to LAUGH as much as possible and focus on GENTLENESS!!
  9. Self-sufficiency Skills: Pick a few to improve on and a few to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I will stop living..... there is always something to learn and always something to teach to my children!!! I am NOT raising future children, I am raising future adults who will need life skills!!
  10. Take time to enjoy life each day. Slow down and enjoy moments with each of my children and my handsome husband! They are gifts from God, gifts to be cherished, nurtured and loved. Find pleasure in life, celebrate and flourish in the moments of life that make up the memories we hold dear in our hearts!

What do you think??  What ways do you "choose simplicity"?  Does simplicity seem like a dream that will never come true or are you living a more simple life??  I would love to hear about what works for you or what you do off of this list of 10.....

Have a BLESSED day,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Choosing Simplicity in household management for those of us not born organzied......

I will be the first to admit what anyone who knows me in real life will tell you...... I am not the most detail oriented person you will ever meet!  I am a big picture person, a creative person, an idea person.  However, life with a family requires ME to keep everything together (well except I have given up on the basket of mate-less socks)!  I've give up on being like my super organized, detail loving sister who always has all her socks matched up.....  It just causes me too much stress.

I am who I am because it is how GOD made me!!  YOU are who you are because GOD made you!  He did NOT make a mistake!!!  YOUR strengths were give to you as part of your divine plan and purpose.  Rather than fight who I am I choose to embrace it!  ENJOYING what I love about me and working to overcome the areas where I struggle.  Each of us has a specific set of strengths and weaknesses.  We use our strengths to overcome our weakness.  God wants us to operate withing the DNA He gave us!  That to me is so freeing!  I don't have to be like anyone else.... they don't have to be like me!

Since I am not born organized, as flylady calls it, and details elude me, I have to WORK to stay organized.  I need systems to guide me without restraining me.   I tend to go in spurts.... really focused for a while on keeping the house clean and de-cluttered and then giving up.  Neither is going to work for my family in the long run.  I need balance.  I have been seeking God on this subject for so long that I wonder how he can even stand to listen to me anymore!  LOL!  However, God is faithful and has brought me oh, so far!

My journey to simplicity all started from a feeling of living life overwhelmed... all... the .... time!  Always feeling like I was ten steps behind where I needed to be.  This journey has taken me so far and I am so thankful I am NOT where I was!  I learn daily to walk in grace and mercy.  I focus to live out the life GOD predestined for me!

Soooo.... how does this all come together for simplicity in household management??  Well, first let me say that I have to make it a daily priority.  There are HUNDREDS of things I would rather do than wash dishes or fold laundry.... hundreds.  It takes that big  scary "D" word....... discipline!  Some days I truly rebel and let the dishes pile up only to need a double dose of discipline the next day to get them done.  yuck!

In proverbs 1:7 it says that a fool hates wisdom and discipline.... ouch!  I don't want to be a fool!  I want to be wise and walk my days here on earth embracing discipline. 
After really seeking God (again.....) on how to better embrace wisdom and discipline in the area of home management He has lead me to a plan that really works for our family.  I'm not saying it is the plan for you because we are all different, but I wanted to share it with you in case you are like me and need a little guidance in this area.

Basically, all it boils down to is getting some BASIC things done EVERY DAY!!  Using discipline in my life to get theses things DONE before anything else!  I love to get sidetracked doing things I enjoy (like being on the computer, reading a book, picking flowers, taking pictures, visiting my chickens, talking with a friend, hanging out with my kiddos and husband.....).  This plan gives me FREEDOM because when these everyday things are done everyday there is MUCH LESS stress in my life!  I can then enjoy other things without the guilt of knowing the dishes are piling up!

I made up a chart and hung in to the fridge.  I gave everyday tasks to each of my children (after all we are a family and all have a role to play).  If they complain about their tasks I will gladly trade them!  I haven't had any takers on that one yet.... darn!

I don't force myself to do these things in the same order every day.... I just can't fit that tight into a mold.  However, I have found a good flow of one leading into another that works really well.  My kiddos do there duties after school.  I try to get mine done first thing in the morning, but sometimes have to finish up in the evening on days I work (a couple of days a week).  Ya know what??  It is amazingly wonderful how doing these simple things everyday really does keep the stress level down and our home running much smoother!  I know... shocker!  Remember.... I'm not born organized like you! 

·      Wipe down Master Bath
·      Dirty Laundry
·      Make Bed
·      Tidy Check Bedroom
·      Tidy Check Living room and wood stove room
·      Unload/reload dish washer
·      Hand wash dishes
·      Prep supper
·      Do laundry
·      Chicken chores
·      Zone task

·      Sweep:
Living room and wood stove room
·      Dirty Laundry
·      Clean Laundry
·      Tidy Check bedroom
·      Sweep:
Kitchen and Dining Room
·      Dirty Laundry
·      Clean Laundry
·      Tidy Check bedroom
·      Take out trash in kitchen and bathroom
·      Clean floor and wall by trash can in kitchen
·      Tidy Check bedroom
·      Wipe down bathroom
·      Sweep bathroom floor
·      Tidy Check Bedroom

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather

Monday, September 12, 2011

life with a house full of boys can be stinky business!

Keeping them smelling good is almost a full time job!  LOL!  I have 4 sweaty and dirty males in our household to contend with. I really do think they smell better (and for longer) when they use a man's "Sport" body wash.  However, those small bottles of wonderful aroma are pricy.... what is a budget conscious, clean loving mama to do??  MIX!  I mix whatever manly body wash I can find on sale with equal parts liquid antibacterial hand soap.  I buy the giant hand soap refill bottles at our local wholesale store for cheap!  Thus I end up with a household of great smelling guys for half the price.  The Mens' Shower Gel has plenty of fragrance to be cut in half and still take care of the guys stink factor!!  LOL!  I do love my house full of guys, but I enjoy them so much better when they smell good!

Have a BLESSED day,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Life with homestead animals.....

takes emotional detachment.  We butchered our 4 pigs today (we do all the butchering and processing our self) and tomorrow we will finish it all up with the sausage making.  Last night when I fed my four pigs for the last time I really had to deliberately not let myself get sad.... I have really enjoyed having them around all summer and since their pen is right next to the garden they have kept me company all season long.  Each one had a distinct personality and style.   The kids loved the job of spraying them down with the hose on hot summer days.  The pigs each had their own way of playing in the water.... one always wanted to drink it... one would run through it like a kid running through a sprinkler, one would just stand there and let you spray him down all day and the final one would just flop down and splash in the water!  I'm telling you they were a hoot!

I kept reminding myself last night that the whole reason we raised them was for our winter meat but I left the barn without a skip in my step.....  today I detached and did my job.  Now my freezer is full of farm fresh meat and I will be oh so thankful every time I prepare our dinner.... for now I MISS them... so I guess I'm not so good at emotional detachment after all.

Have a BLESSED day,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sitting is killing us!

I believe that so much SITTING is a huge link to the obesity crisis that our nation is in.  I'm guilty of too much time sitting in front of this computer!!  I saw this at my friend, Tammi's, weight loss blog and just had to post it here.  This is a GREAT reminder that movement is so good for us and sitting is not!  Click on the pictures to go to an easier to read article.

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather