January 25, 2014

First Project of 2014

On Tuesday last week I decided to begin working on the upstairs (full) bathroom.  Keep in mind that this is one of the two bathrooms we have in our home and the one that 3 out of 4 of us use daily for showering, etc.
So of course it makes sense in my non-logical brain to render it mostly unusable for the majority of the week.

When we bought the house, this bathroom was painted the same green color that the downstairs (3/4) bath had been with the same off-cream/dirty beige trim paint.

This is BEFORE we bought the house
After 10 months I'd had enough and wanted that green gone.  The walls had been sort of weeping after every shower as the moisture condensed on the walls.  I had scrubbed and washed to no avail.  This time I used Simple Green and scrubbed the walls and then rinsed them all and the applied a coat of Kilz primer that claims to be mildew and moisture resistant.
Priming begun
After a day of letting the primer dry and a few hours of decision making with a pile of paint chips.  The room got a nice fresh coat of paint, a new shower curtain and some odds-n-ends and by Friday we had a 'new' bathroom.

The paint is Behr "Cream Silk" and depending on the lighting is a soft yellow-y cream to pale cream color.  The shower curtain is BH&G "Tranquil Leaves" which is just white with a gray/black design.
Nothing tremendously fancy but it's all fresh and clean and makes me smile.

Our first project of 2014 and this is our 7th major indoor painting project since we bought the house.  I love the progress we are making!

January 15, 2014

Thankful again

Photo has nothing to do with the post - I just love that Piper and Fender are buddies

It is January 15th, which means it is payday at our house.  Steve gets paid monthly and we are a single income family.  We have lived this way for 16 years.
Amazing?  Perhaps ... but I like to think not really.  More I recognize that we have the blessings we have because God has poured them out for our family.  Not because we deserve it...no... far from it!

We fully acknowledge that every good gift comes from the One and only God who loves us beyond comprehension - enough that He sent His only Son to die for us.  Because we acknowledge and accept that gift of grace, we know full well that every other gift is from Him as well.
Which makes payday every month a really tangible time to remember and be thankful.  God's math works when it makes no sense for it to work.

Most people will tell you that it is impossible in this day and age to live on one income.  I disagree strongly and can point you to multiple families I know that do and have made it work.  Does it mean you have to make choices?  Of course!  But we all make tons of choices every day.  Does it sometimes mean sacrifice?  Probably, but I think that depends on your definitions and falls again into choices.

Would I ever make different choices that would have meant I had kept my full-time job after J was born?  Not likely.  The benefits of being home...raising and educating these young people... increasing my own skills and knowledge in the process... can never compare to just a paycheck.  No new car or vacation would be worth the sacrifice of the relationships I have with my children.

Every month when the paycheck is deposited and we have the blessing of giving back to God and can pay all the bills and have enough left over to buy groceries & gas and whatnot until the next paycheck.... I am thankful again and again.
Never do I want to take for granted the gifts He pours out for us.

Blessings on the journey~

January 9, 2014

Welcoming 2014

**photo credit Steve (my amazing husband) 

I am really looking forward to seeing what will happen during this new year.  Last year saw so many changes in our lives... things that I never imagined could actually happen, yet God moved so powerfully in so many situations that I was awed in all new ways by His grace and loving care.

The new year is always full of promise - similar to the Fall for me when I feel on the verge of big changes due to the magnificent display of color changing around me here in New Hampshire and the beginning of a new home school year with the kids.  But a new year is also fun because it gives me a chance to read and ponder the goals and resolutions that people have published around the web.  A new-ish thing seems to be choosing a word to be the focus of a new year.  People choose things like "faith" or "change" or "give" or "breathe" or "whatever strikes their fancy".  Others choose a specific verse of scripture or some other personally meaningful phrase.  And there are those who go the traditional route of making a list of resolutions (exercise more, save more money, smile more, learn to knit, etc.).

I have done exactly none of these.
Boring?  Perhaps.  
Unambitious? A case could be made for that adjective. 

I would choose that last one.  While I am a list person generally speaking and like to have measurable goals to work towards in different areas, right now I'm in a place where God is in the process of teaching me contentment.  There is a definite learning curve to what it means to have 'enough' in various areas of my life and how to deal appropriately with the areas where there is abundance or scarcity.

2013 brought enormous changes in pretty much every area of my life and that is not easy for a person who doesn't really 'do change well' as I've been known.  I think it is safe to say that the changes were all good ones and things that were welcomed and rejoiced over in most cases.  That isn't to say there were not struggles and stresses and tears, but those are not the memories I'm choosing to embrace.

All of this means that for right now I'm not making big huge ambitious lists or choosing some lofty goal for the new year.  I have a few things muddling around in my brain but they are more mundane - like the potential for a vegetable/herb garden, some sewing projects, helping J learn to drive and find a part-time job, reading through the Bible entirely again, improving my cooking skills and learning to like some new vegetables. Nothing earth shattering, but movement in positive directions is generally a good idea even if it is boring at times.

I look forward to seeing how God will move in our lives and the lives of people we know this year. Watching Him work is never dull.  The beginning of our life in the country has been positive in terms of building new community and friendships and I'm very hopeful of seeing that continue.

Happy 2014 everyone - may this new year bring fresh gifts of grace that allow us the opportunity to give praise to God for all things (tears and laughter).

Blessings on the journey~

January 1, 2014

Ending 2013

We ended 2013 with one last house project - painting the master bedroom.
When we moved in, the room was painted and wallpapered in blues and birdhouses.  Not exactly our style but not truly hideous.  I did rip down the border and the wallpapered wall right off the bat and we lived with the blue for 9 months.

We spent some time discussing paint colors and options and even tested 2 shades in patches on the walls last week.  Then we made our decision and took the plunge - Steve picked up 2 gallons of paint on his way home from church on Sunday and on Monday afternoon I started taping and doing the edge work of the lighter colored walls.  Tuesday morning bright and early we started working again with Steve edging the darker colored walls and me rolling the lighter color.  After the first coat was on the walls we took a break, cleaned up a bit and I ran some errands, including going out to get another gallon of the lighter colored paint.  Going over the dark blue definitely needed the second coat of paint and the big room required more than just the one gallon of that color.
We are thrilled with the final look - it's clean and crisp and more our style.

Looking towards the back of the room - the 2 windows overlook the back yard.

 Looking toward the front of the room - the single window looks out to the front yard.

The paint is Behr and the colors are "Brown Teepee" and "Tibetan Orange".  I don't know who has the job of naming paint colors but they must have a lot of fun coming up with them. 

Now to figure out what our next project will be to start 2014!  Happy New Year everyone - may God richly bless you with His presence in the new year.