Thursday, January 21, 2016

Another Day, Another Room to Organize

Today I decided to go through our closet and downsize my wardrobe.

The house we're renting right now has a beautiful big walk in closet - 
something I've never had before.
But I'm quickly realizing that it can be easy to just let things pile up with so much space.

Here's what I started with.

The boys did a great job of entertaining themselves in my tub while I got to work.

It didn't take long and I had removed -

1 Hoodie
2 Dresses
3 Skirts
3 Tank Tops
1 Sweater
7 Shirts
4 Pairs of Shoes
and Various Pieces of Jewelry.

One coat also got pulled out to be sent to the dry cleaners so that I can wear it again.
A few items I will pass on to a friend and the rest will be donated. 

While I was cleaning out my closet, I came across a 
Little Golden Book that I had bought last time we were in Alabama.

Scuffy the Tugboat 
was one of my favourite books to read when we were visiting my grandparents house as kids.
Ryder was so excited to read a new story while he ate his lunch.
Win Win!

And that was all before I finally got to addressing the growing mound of 
clean laundry that has been accumulating in my room.

 You'd think we had 10 kids and not 2 with the amount of laundry we go through!
 But with few episodes of Pioneer Woman episodes to keep me company, I made my way through the mountain and my children will finally have some clean pyjamas to wear.

And then Ryder hit the jackpot when Daddy got home 
from work and offered to read his new story again.

I feel like it was a pretty successful day of catching up, tidying up, and decluttering my closet.
I know a few of you are joining me this week in organizing and cleaning house -
how did you do?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Week of Purging

We're home and getting right back at it.

This week one of my goals is to do some serious decluttering and purging in a few different rooms.
I started in the office where we have a few too many book boxes stacked - 
boxes that haven't been opened since our move a year and a half ago!

First things first.
I tossed out 48 old magazines ranging from home decor, to running, to recipes.

So much information is online now. 
If I need a recipe, I can browse Pinterest or check out

Ryder found an old pair of swim goggles in the process.

Before long I had a whole box emptied.
It helped that the sun came out and Ryder decided to go entertain himself in the backyard.
Love this little boy's imagination and ability to play on his own!

And then proceeded to fill it with all kinds of other odds and ends that can be donated or tossed -
our ugly Christmas sweaters, a few kitchen items, etc.

So, who else is in?
Who's going to join me in cleaning out and purging this week?!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snow Play

We're loving all of the snow at our Tahoe cabin!

 This was after quite a bit of melting.

Our cabin has been cozy and warm -
the perfect spot for our long weekend retreat.

Ryder has been thriving outside in the fresh air.
The back of our property opened up into the perfect sledding hill.

Braden even made a few runs down on his snowboard, landing the jump and everything.

Then we went on with the usual.
Vanesa helped us colour our Bible story photos in preparation
 for teaching Sunday School this morning.

This is something I love to see.
The guys' Bibles sitting on the table together. 

Love my man and his heart for the Lord.

More time with Mrs Davis before she leaves us for the Pacific Northwest.
I'm jealous!

 And this little character just wants to be like Daddy.
Snowboard boots and all.

Goodnight from Lake Tahoe!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lake Tahoe Long Weekend

We're enjoying the weekend away in a winter wonderland with a few dear friends.
Saying goodbye - so much more common in the military - happens much too often for my liking.

A sweet couple from our church are heading back up to our beloved Washington. 
We will see them again, but for now we're enjoying a cabin up at Lake Tahoe.

Not this friend though, she's hanging around to love on my sugar bear.

 There's nothing quite as fun as board games to the sound of a crackling fire with yummy Tazo Bramblewine tea and great company. 

Our cabin has some fun beams that the guys did their morning exercise on. ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Years Goals Check In

We're already almost two weeks into the new year. 
While the boys and I survived Braden being out of town for work the first week, we're settling back into our post holiday routine pretty well. 

My new Bible Study guide from She Reads Truth arrived!!
I used some Christmas money from Braden's grandparents to order the Hebrews study guide and have not been disappointed. I love how it directs my attention straight to the words of scripture.

Thus far in Hebrews, I'm just in awe of how worthy Jesus is of all praise.

While I was preparing to sit down and have my devotions this morning I heard a little voice calling, "Mama, I'm ready to wake up!" This little ray of sunshine was my morning buddy and sat drinking his smoothie and listening quietly when I read today's chapters out loud. Love my buddy!

After breakfast Ryder found that Lynden had gotten himself stuck under the couch, and pulled him out. That was so much fun for both of them that he pulled him all over creation, laughing hysterically at Lynden's giggles.

This is the stuff everyday life is made of. 
It's too good to make up.

Dixie has become Ryder's cow-dog. 
He rests himself on her and shouts 
"Giddy Up Giddy Up!"

What a good sport she is.
Pardon the lack of pants, this was immediately after a nap.

A nice hot bath rounded out the evening.
Days like today, when I can get down to kid level and just play, read stories, and use my imagination are just what I had in mind when I set my goals for the new year.

I'm looking forward to what the next eleven and a half months will hold. 
Never a dull moment, I can be assured of that, thanks to my two cutie pies. <3

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My DIY Door Project - Finally Finished!

This last Fall I picked up an old door that was posted for free on a local sell/swap page. 
I didn't really know where it would take me, but I do love getting creative with home projects - especially with Pinterest to give me all kinds of ideas.

Here's my blank slate:

I began by removing all of the hardware and then taking out 
the window frame and two intact glass frames.

I sanded the frame down and painted it white.
It looked terrible!

Ryder was just excited to see himself though. 

I ended up doing a coat of grey and then topping it with white so I could give it a distressed look.
Much better. 

Then I found the mirror from a previous failed DIY mirror attempt. 
Yes, these projects fail more often than not - it seems.

 A local glass shop cut the mirror to size and I had to scrape all of the gunk (paint, paint stripper, and who knows what else) before it was finally clean and ready to go. 

My resident handyman hung it up and we've been enjoying it ever since. 

Pardon the odd angle, 
I didn't want to show off the explosion of toys on the floor in our den. ;)

Ryder even volunteered to be in the picture, which is pretty rare.


The second half of the project was repurposing the matching windows. 

It took me a while to decide which Pinterest idea to shoot for, 
but I ended up with this idea for our front entryway. 

I found a local Mama who customs makes decals for just such projects. 
She printed up our name and anniversary year in no time at all. 

All I had to do was choose a wedding photo and wait for Costco to have it printed.

I am pretty pleased with the results after only about $12 in out of pocket expenses. 

 Welcome to our Home

Now that my door projects are finally complete, 
I'll have to start scouring Pinterest for my next DIY project.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Year & New Goals

A lot has changed in the last year - for better of for worse!
One of those changes is my perspective on the year ahead. 

For the first time that I can remember, 
I really feel excited about making and tracking goals for myself. 

Not the typical losing weight, spending less, or exercising more - 
but in a few key relational areas.

It's always important to be growing and improving, right?

1. Spiritual - I'm excited to start a new Bible Study program put out by She Reads Truth. I've used the app previously and have been really encouraged by the devotionals and scripture reading plans. I can't wait to study Hebrews this January with my new study guide and journal. I'll be sure to share my experience with it as I go. 

2. Marriage - Even the best marriages can always improve, right?! Braden and I love the little family that God has blessed us with, but all of the business of kids can be a distraction sometimes. This year my goal is to write more love letters to Braden - I did this every week during our first year of marriage and sent them all on deployment with him. We don't have an impending deployment this year, but here's just another avenue to encourage and support my partner.

3. Parenting - Our two boys are SO much work, but bring SO much joy! I love to see how quickly Ryder picks up and remembers things. This year I really want to work on memorizing Bible verses with him. And in general, I want to be less distracted for my kiddos - to look in their eyes when I speak with them, make one-on-one time a priority, and not be too busy for developing their imaginations and sitting down to read stories. 

Well, that's my list.
What's on yours?