As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Organization (By a Non-Guru) :: Tip 3

Keep what you love.

Do you really love it?  Then find a home for it.  If you don't really love it,  then give it away to someone who will love it.  If there is no one who will really love it, then throw it away. 

(This is another of my simple ideas...although this tip looks simpler in print than it is in real life.  That is, real life in which more than one person lives in the house.  As in...there are some of uswho shall remain namelesswho want to keep everything.  Everything.)  

To keep my house organized, I find that I must purge, and purge often.  And my criteria for keeping an item is "Do I love it?" 

A few months ago, my table linens were stacked on a top shelf in my laundry room and they were a bit hard to reach.  Worse than that, they were wedged so tightly that when I pulled a tablecloth or a runner off the shelf, three or four more came with it.  And because they were up so high, I had a frustrating time of replacing the ones that I wasn't using. 

But I love my table linens and they needed a home. 

My paper napkin collection had also grown too big for its designated home. (plural), because the napkins were lodging in the coffee cabinet and the seasonal storage bins in the attic and a shelf in the laundry room and wherever else I could stuff them. 

But I love my paper napkins, and they needed a (bigger) home too. 

Since these are things that I love, I decided that I would find a home for them...

...and this is the home that I found...
a cabinet in my living room
(which, of course, I had to purge to make room for these things that I love).

Now it is a pleasure to choose a tablecloth for a party or a package of napkins for Sunday afternoon dessert...all because I made a home for the things that I love. 

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Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”    ~  William Morris

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Other posts in this series:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Science Is For The Birds

...well, for this weekend anyway!

Our family has participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count for the past several years.  It is an exciting learning opportunity to collect ornithological your very own backyard!  Who says science always has to come from a textbook? 

Spend a mere fifteen minutes watching and counting birds in your yard and recording your data. (For complete instructions, click here.)  Then submit your data to GBBC via their website.  It's that easy! 

Be sure to  Explore the Results after you've counted.  Here you can find out such things as where other "counters" were in your state and how many Black-capped Chickadees are in your area, as well as look at hundreds of maps detailing bird locations.    

There are two days left now.  Won't you join us? 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As the weather began to cool just a bit and the leaves were tinged with color, we learned of their plans for a visit, and not a day passed that the thought did not come to the surface at least a time or two. Our hearts stirred as we imagined sipping coffee and chatting, breaking bread and learning more details of their lives, looking into the faces of those precious little girls whom we love from a distance, hearing their voiceds, hugging and kissing, and meeting the one who was not yet born but had already won our hearts.

And the busy days passed and the weather was cooler and the leaves blazed and we lived and ate and learned and sang and celebrated, all the while anticipating the promised visit.

Although, again, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas without them, we were comforted by knowing that soon, very soon, we would all be together for a time. 

As the time drew nearer, we prepared our home.  (Our hearts were already prepared.)  We planned for vacation time from work.  We cleared the calendar.  We cleaned.  We thought out sleeping arrangements and menus and extended family get-togethers.  We shopped for favorite foods and extra bedding and squirreled away some little surprises for the tiny girls.  

The months became weeks, the weeks became days, and then the day came.  The day that we had anticipated, longed for, prepared for. 

There is another day of promise. 

I am not sure of the exact day.  There was no phone call on an autumn evening to let me know the date, but His Word has told me that it will be

And so, as I prepared for the visit of my beloved family, I prepare for His coming. 

As the thoughts of their coming pervaded my daily consciousness, may my thoughts of His coming be never far away.

As I yearned to be with them, may I long to see His face more

As I prepared my home to receive them, may I purify my heart to welcome Him.

As I spent my resources in labors of love, may I give all to the One who has spent Himself for me

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  (I John 3:2, 3)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Organization (By a Non-Guru) :: Tip 2

Keep a daily list.

Pssst...remember when I told you that my tips (being from a non-guru and all) would be simple?

Today's tip is quite simple, but keeping a daily list is a big help to me in organizing my time and my thoughts.  I was inspired by this idea from Anna over at Pleasant View Schoolhouse (a beautiful homemaking blog).   

I have a small (7x5) spiral notebook that is my daily organizer.  No fancy charts and sheets or somebody else's organizational style.  Each morning, I simply write the date at the top and then list everything that I would like to accomplish that day: daily chores, appointments, notes to write, errands, phone calls to make, craft projects, cleaning projects, and so on.  I will also jot down lists of things I need to take to a certain place, phone numbers, and appointment times.  In the bottom corner, I write out our dinner menu for the day. 

I work from this list all day, checking things off as they are accomplished.  (Isn't "checking" a satisfactory experience?  Does anyone else ever add something that you've already done to a list, just for the pleasure of checking it off?)    P

Benefits of the daily list...
  • Helps me to remember what needs to be done.
  • Helps me to prioritize my time.
  • If I have a short time between activities, I can scan the list for something that will fit that amount of time.
  • I can check things off.  ~smile~

When the notebook is filled, I go back through to see if there is anything that needs to be saved.  (For example, I have saved the list of items to take to our extended family Christmas party...just tucked in the back of my current notebook.  Then next year, I don't have to rack my brain to remember those details.)

Do you keep lists?  (Do you like to check? P)

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Other posts in this series:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Versatile Dough Bowl

The Nester is hosting a "spur of the moment linky" (her words) today about dough bowls.  Yes, you read that right...dough bowls.   

And since I own two dough bowlsone antique, one reproductionthat I use in my home year round...and since I wonder if I'll ever have the opportunity to join a Dough Bowl Linky Party ever again (do you think?), I decided to link up! 

I often use the oblong (reproduction) dough bowl in seasonal displays...

As part of an autumn vignette

As a Christmas colonial-style centerpiece

Displaying our "He Lives" eggs on Resurrection Sunday

...while the round (antique) one takes year-round residence on the coffee table.
Filled with autumn potpourri

...and then Christmas potpourri and candle

Who knew I'd ever be posting about dough bowls?  Not me.  ~grin~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sick Days (Again)

It seems that almost every family I know has been touched with some sort of virus or illness of late.  'Tis the season, I suppose.  And a very real part of living in a sin-cursed world. 

I just revisited my post about Sick Days from last January...and am taking some of my own well as that of the wise commenters. 

One sickling here on the sofa... sickling in Dad's recliner...

...and Pinky (not a sickling, just taking a cat nap)
wants to be with the girls, I guess.

An abbreviated school day, a big pot of chicken noodle soup served for dinner, and a hope to be back with a (simple) organizing tip in a day or so...   
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