Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

What I did tonight instead of writing a post August 10, 2009

Filed under: Household tips,Mothering — Andie @ 11:00 pm

…. about how I preserve my kids artwork and special projects…… 

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This is my new kitchen. I painted it brown tonight instead of writing my post! You can see the amazing new cabinets that my handy husband built with lots of oversight from a good friend and cabinet maker. I love my new kitchen. It’s not ugly and dysfunctional anymore. AND, the wall behind the sink has insulation for the first time… ever. I am looking forward to a winter where my onions and potatoes don’t freeze in my kitchen drawers. (not joking)

And, for a bonus at the end of this post, I will tell you how I preserve my kids artwork. I hang some on the fridge for awhile until they have fallen off enough times to drive me crazy and then I throw it away. However, I do take digital photos of the best of the best (like Ruth’s “R”s!!) and then I put that in their scrapbooks. This means that at almost 4 years of age, Ruth has about 4 pics of artwork in her book. But, I don’t know if I will be able to get away with this “toss it” method when Ruth gets a memory about her masterpieces. Right now, it’s out of sight, out of mind.

 

Important Series on Simple Mom July 6, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Household tips — Andie @ 7:30 pm

I was SO EXCITED to see that Simple Mom is going to be doing a once a week series called Back to the Basics. It should be helpful for peeps like me who somehow missed out on most of those Home Economics type skills that I was supposed to have picked up along the way. I have had a steep learning curve in obtaining some of the most basic homemaking skills.  For those of you who are in the same boat, check out the intro post here.

 

Bartering Brainstorm May 29, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Household tips — Andie @ 7:27 pm

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things you could barter:

birthday cake home organization
quilt speech therapy
frozen meals childcare
party planning wedding reception decor
flower arranging grocery shopping
frequent flyer miles filing
coupon finding/printing scrapbooking
gardening family photography

Hope this gets you thinking about ways you could barter and better manage your household and your skills! Here is a helpful article I read on the topic of bartering.

 

Spring Cleaning Thursday: Living room & Hardwoods April 16, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Household tips — Kate @ 6:00 am

dust bunnies galore

Sorry for the delayed posting … I thought I had it set for this morning, guess it wasn’t quite right! :(

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Last weekend we took a tag team approach to getting our living room cleaned and rearranged!  We moved all of the furniture out of the room and actually pulled up the big area carpets in the living room and hallway to mop the hardwood floors.  Our couch needed a little TLC (reinforcing the bottom supports) so we did that while they were up too.  (Hey, if we’re going to actually call it Spring Cleaning I figured we should be as thorough as possible!)shiny floors

We tried to involve the kids as much as possible, so they were key in relocating all of the toys that had been hiding under the couches and getting everything small enough for them to lift off of the floors.

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We split up for the actually mopping and drying phase and took the kids down to the basement to watch a video.

After looking over the many options for cleaning the hardwoods, we settled on a Mop & Glo made for hardwoods … boy do they sparkle when they are clean!

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I was excited to move the furniture around when we were all done.  Our big couch had previously been right in front of our picture window which didn’t make for enjoying the view and cramped the entry area quite a bit.  (I’m taking the picture basically from the front door.)  With moving the couch to the other side of the room we have a straight shot into the living room for welcoming guests into our home!

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Spring Cleaning Checklist April 15, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Gretchen @ 5:19 pm

Ok this is a confession… I am really not going to be getting to any spring cleaning this month!  My husband is/has been gone every week this month, we are in the home stretch with home school, sports just started up again and my grandpa just died.  Life is crazy and I am sure there are some that will relate.  For this post I will be writing a checklist of the things I do for spring cleaning that will hopefully be accomplish in May!

The way I do spring cleaning is to accomplish small tasks each week so here is my list of tasks and extra cleaning…

  • wash curtains
  • wash windows/blinds
  • wash and dust walls and baseboards
  • sort through and store all winter gear-  get rid of things the kids have grown out of and make note of things we will need for next year
  • clean out pantry and fridge (gotta make room for summer fare)
  • change and/or clean toss pillows
  • wipe down cabinets and get out the plastic outdoor plates
  • while in Minnesota I do not bust out the summer clothes quite yet I do go through all the kids clothes and toss the clothes that can’t be given away, give away the clothes that we don’t need/use, and store all the heavy turtle necks and sweaters
  • go through all toys – this is a great time to get rid of toys and also to store toys that help during the winter months (this keeps kids from getting bored with toys- we store our wii during the summer to encourage outdoor play)

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Spring Cleaning Tuesday: The Garage April 14, 2009

Filed under: Free Your Space,Household tips,Uncategorized — Leah @ 6:00 am

(As I’m sure you know by now:)) We have a small house!  Therefore, what doesn’t fit in the house, goes in the garage.  When we can no longer walk through the garage we have to clean it.  Here are some pics of the pit,  before & after.

The workbench:img_3162 (before & after)

img_3166We had just a few “do the project but never put away the tools” situations as well as the pile of broken/need new battery toys on the workbench…can’t do much “work” when it’s surface is covered in randomness.  Solution?  Replace those batteries and PUT STUFF AWAY.

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The shelving: (before & after)

img_3163img_3168We were experiencing just a wee-bit-o-clutter on the floor of the garage.  We remedied the situation by using the space more effectively on the shelving.  By just moving a couple of items around I was able to get my canning things as well as my kitchen aide things off the floor and onto the shelf.  Ahhh, feels good.

The big picture: (before & after)

img_3160img_31641The garage had become a landing pad for many things…as you can see.  Cardboard for the kids to make a fort with, legal papers, recycling we weren’t too sure how to dispose of, luggage that could totally have gone into the attic, tools that needed hooks so they could hang on a wall- rather than lean on a wall, and bikes that still need to be mounted on wall hooks to provide more floor space.  Overall, we gained a lot of space in the garage by the end of our clean-up effort, a bunch of gunk and leaves and whatnot was swept out, and the treadmill is once again accessable and ready for use.  (I actually just got off it….yea me!)

SO, be encouraged- get out there and spruce it up!  It’s not as bad as it may seem.  :-)

 

Spring Cleaning Monday: The office/playroom April 13, 2009

Filed under: cleaning,Free Your Space,Homemaking — Andie @ 1:50 pm
dsc_0231_400x598shkl2dsc_0229_800x1195shkl_600x896shkl6Okay, people. Planning 4 hours of cleaning during the week of Spring Cleaning was a great idea… until I realized that since I post on Mondays, my room had to be done before Spring Cleaning week had begun. Ha ha. Thankfully I did get to spend at least 3 hours of undivided time with my “Multipurpose Room” before today. And, it has come a long way. First, I will explain the nature of this room. The room is off of our dining room and it is about 7×11 ft. We use it for an office, playroom and storage/coat closet.  (And I’m actually wanting to move my exercise bike into it so I can watch HGTV on Hulu.com while I ride!)

Anyway, Here is the room before: As you can see, the many purposes of the room had collided and things had gotten quite SCARY! While I had some organizational pieces in the closet, there were still many areas that needed help- like inside the drawers and the scary stack of games, sewing kit and cardboard box up to the right. And, something that drove me crazy is the printer, sitting on the file cabinet, which I had to haul out and and plug in every time I wanted to print something (at the computer, which is to the left of the closet with no room for a printer).

DRUMROLL, please……

Here is the room after: Doesn’t it look like a much happier place? For the closet, I made use of some of the vertical space in by adding two stacking wire shelves ($5 each). Then, I didn’t have to stack all of that stuff on top of each other. I have games, a sewing kit, my painting supplies on those shelves. I moved some of the random big books downstairs to basement storage since we didn’t use them regularly. I reorganized and thinned out the stuff in the drawers using the 3 bag dsc_0047_400x598shkl3method: One for give-away, One for put-away, One for trash. I was able to throw away, give away or relocate about 1/2 of the contents!  My favorite part of the closet makeover is that I moved the printer up to a shelf where it can live permanently. I was SO EXCITED to realize that the cords will reach the outlet and computer from the closet.

dsc_0045_400x598shkl3For toy organization, I combined the cubes (which had been broken up inefficiently throughout the house) and made a large organizational structure. Many of the baskets I already had, but I did purchase the aqua ones ($3.50 ea). The striped one is a LUVS diaper box covered in scrapbooking paper.

PS. If you need to majorly declutter, check out these 3 questions to cut clutter. (If you want to keep up this page while checking out a link, you can apple key + click to bring up a new tab. PC users, try ctrl + click and see if it works)