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Organized Quiet Time

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Organized Quiet Time

This year, our faith family is reading through the Bible together.  Our  sermons will be based on the readings each week and there are also devotionals to go along with each day’s readings.  There are weekly prayer guides as well.  I am SUPER excited about this, but honestly, it adds up to a LOT of paper. Especially since 4 out 5 of us are using these guides for our Quiet Times (personal Bible study time each day).  (One of my daughters is diligent when it comes to studying her Bible and she already had a Bible study plan in place.)

In January, I printed out the 2014 Bible Reading Plan and posted it in our home office.  You can get a copy of the Plan here.  I also printed the daily devotions for one week and the corresponding prayer guides.  I did this for all 4 of us following the Plan.  And there was paper everywhere in our 4 Quiet Time areas.  This paper explosion could not continue if my sanity was to remain.

One day, as I was perusing my Pinterest board on Organization, I came across some ideas and printables I had pinned relating to budget/finance.  (Insert best Gru voice here)  “Light.bulb.”   Why not use these ideas for all the paper generated by our Quiet Times?  So, I did.  It took me a few days to get around to it, but I did do it.

The first step was to gather a lot of stuff we already had on hand.  (So, this was free & I do love things for free!)  Everyone got a white binder and I made cover sheets to slip in front so we could tell them apart.  Here is a picture of mine and my husband’s.  One day I may go back and make mine “cuter”, but that is for another day.

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Then the printing began!  First, I downloaded a copy of the devotional book we are using in conjuction with the reading plan.  It is For the Love of God by D.A. Carson.  You can download your copy of Volume One (FREE!) right here.  Yes, it’s legal.  Also at that same link are links to the Guide to Personal Worship, Guide to Family Worship, and Personal Disciple-making Plan. All are in PDF form for you to download and print.  Next, I went here and printed copies of the weekly Prayer Guide.  (There is an Archives listing if you would like to view/download any prior Prayer Guides.)  The Prayer Guide also lists the Bible Readings for each week.  By now I hope you see what I mean about a LOT of paper!  Here is what the floor of my dining room-now office looked like as I prepped just one week’s worth of Quiet Times for 4 people.  And that’s just the devotional pages.

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In addition to all of the print outs, I inserted a sheet of looseleaf paper after each devotional to use as a journaling page.  I also created a “Planned Prayer” guide for the front pocket of each binder.  This basically lists things that will be prayed for on a particular day.  For example, every Monday we pray the strengthening of each family member’s faith.  There are 3 items for each day of the week.  There is also a space for “spontaneous prayer”.  Things that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.  The sermon regarding prayer is here, as well as the others that go along with our teachings thus far.

I put each binder together in the following order:  Planned Prayer list (front interior pocket), Guide to Personal Worship, Guide to Family Worship (Mom & Dad’s binders), Weekly Reading & Prayer Guide for first week, Devotional for Day 1, blank piece of looseleaf paper, Devotional for Day 2, blank piece of looseleaf paper, etc.  Hopefully, that makes sense!  For my personal binder, I inserted tabbed page dividers to separate each month of devotions.  I used some Washi tape to “cutify” each tab and then used my label maker to print the name of each month for the tabs.

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Now, we can all have our Quiet Times AND I can have my sanity!  Well, what’s left of it.  :-0

If you didn’t have a plan for your personal Bible study time, now you do!  If you have any questions, I would love to hear from you.

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Winter Storm 2014 – Our Story

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Winter Storm 2014 – Our Story

Most of you know that the South was slapped with some crazy snow & ice on Tuesday.  You’ve probably seen the news coverage and heard the stories, but I thought I would share our story.  It will be disjointed & probably use poor grammar, but here it is.  It’s not nearly as dramatic, or sad, as some.  For that I am forever thankful and feeling very blessed.

We were blessed in that none of us had to spend the night in our car, freezing.  Why did that happen to so many, you ask?  Because, around here, when snow is forecast, we mostly laugh.  We may see a few flakes, but the ground is rarely cold enough for it to stick.  Also, they had forecast the snow to be mostly south of us, with very little hitting our area.  So we went about our day thinking schools would probably let out around 1:00pm and everyone would go home then.  We were so wrong.  Within 30 minutes of seeing the first flake, bridges and hilly roads were freezing.  When I say “hilly roads”, you need to understand that we live in eyesight of a world class mountain biking park.

Here is how my day went:  I got the hubs off to work, kids to school & went to the mall for my usual 3 mile walk.  Came home and grabbed my coupons.  My plan was to get to Old Navy to swap out a sweatshirt for my daughter and then hit the grocery store on the way home to meet the bus when school let out.  I was thinking school would let out at 1:00 at that time.  The first flakes hit as I was on the way to our Old Navy.  It’s not far.  Within 20 minutes I had driven clear roads, swapped out the shirt, and was met with a FROZEN piece of ICE on my windshield.  WHAAT??  I started towards home on now snow covered roads.  Dummy (me) stopped at the grocery store for a few things to make soup.  Mistake.  There is a mountain between the grocery store & my house.  Within 10 minutes of being in the store, cars were literally sliding down the mountain.  It was ugly.  I panicked and called my husband.  I couldn’t get to my girls.  Then the phone lines were jammed with so many people stuck in similar, or worse, predicaments. One of whom was a friend who was north of the city and asked me to get her girls.  Once the phone lines became jammed with callers, we couldn’t get through, but we could text & text we did!  My husband tried several routes for a couple of hours to reach me in his 4WD truck.  Too many wrecks.  He had to turn around and eventually abandon his truck about a mile from his office and walk to his office.  (Yes, his truck was off the road so it wasn’t blocking traffic.)  While he was trying to get to me, I was in a text-a-thon with friends.  We all were wanting to get to our kids, because the school busses were grounded.  This is where I must say that I am SO grateful that I live close to everything!  We are within 3 miles of schools and grocery stores.  One neighbor was able to get her kids, my kids, and 2 friends to her house.  My kids + 1 friend walked from her house to our house (next door).  They were home.  But I didn’t know because my phone had died.  I just knew she had them, so I trusted her to get them home.  Bless her!!

I had gone into a hair salon to wait.  Then I decided to walk.  One of the ladies in the hair salon gave me her gloves because mine were at home.  Another lady said she would walk with me.  I grabbed several bags of groceries and the bag of sweatshirts.  Thankfully, I had bought a couple more while at the store.  The lady & I each used one as a scarf and off we went.  Soooo many people were walking.  Some crazy people were still trying to get up the mountain in a car, and sliding back down.  Walking got to be dangerous due to the cars sliding down, but we made it.  We picked up some others as we went.  All walking to get kids from school or just trying to get home.  A lot of high school kids were walking from the other side to meet parents in the parking lot who couldn’t get over the mountain.  About 1/2 mile from the high school, a couple stopped and offered us a ride.  They dropped me at the high school, where I went in to get a friend’s older daughter.  When I got out of their vehicle, I managed to leave one bag of groceries.  Oh, well.  They certainly deserved it for driving around to help people get where they needed to go.  I forgot to even try to offer them gas money.  I have no idea who they were.

When I got my friend’s daughter at the high school, I explained that she could stay at my house with her sister and my girls, but she would have to walk a little over 2 miles to get there.  Bless her heart!  She looked a little startled, but took it good naturedly.  We made it to within 1/2 mile of my house & one of my other neighbors took us home in his truck.  He was out in his truck helping get kids home on our side of the mountain.  We were SO glad to see him, especially since we still had another hill in the neighborhood to get over and my arms were going numb from carrying groceries.  Once home, I found my girls and friends having snowball fights in the yard.  Hallelujah!!  I went in to plug in my phone and let my friend know I had her girls and let hubs know I made it home.

We never lost power.  We didn’t lose phone service – other than lines being tied up with so many stranded people.  We were blessed!  My husband was stuck at work, but he was safe.  He and some co-workers walked up to the mall to get food.  Like so many other places, the Panera Bread was giving free food to anyone who could get to them.  Thank you, Panera!!  Around 1:00AM, hubs thought he could get home.  One of his co-workers has a 4WD Mercedes car.  He took hubs to his truck.  From there, my determined husband drove home over the icy roads.  Most cars were pulled over and abandoned by then.  He did not, however, let me know he was coming home.  I was obviously SOUND asleep.  So sound asleep that I did not hear the garage door go up.  Or down.  But, buddy, I heard the alarm system say “Fault Den Garage Door!”  The dog came straight up to all 4’s from his bed and I came straight up and over to the gun from my bed.  As I was reaching in for the gun, I heard a quiet, “Honey?”.  Glory!  Needless to say I didn’t shoot him……but I took it into consideration for the scare he gave me!

My friend (whose daughters were at my home) made it to a shelter for the night and then home the next morning.  Once the hubs finished some conference calls (he works for a utility company), we loaded her girls in the truck and found a route to their house on the other side of the mountain.  Once they were dropped off, we were able to pick up a friend that had spent the night on that side with a kind family who were strangers.  Sooo many people opened their homes & pantries to stranded people!  We loaded up my friend and stopped by her car and mine to get all the groceries.  (She had been in the grocery store the same time as me.)  Our car is still on the other side of the mountain, but we are all home and safe.  Hopefully, the car will make it home today.  I’ll leave you with some pictures:

20 minutes after first flake

20 minutes after first flake.  The windshield wipers were having no effect.

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The next afternoon. The majority of these cars are abandoned. One lane of moving traffic.

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The view from my window the next morning.

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Our deck the next morning.

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View from our front porch the next moring.

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One of so many wrecked cars that had to be abandoned the previous day.

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The road to our neighborhood the next afternoon.

 

New year, new you!

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That’s the promise, right??  The promise shouted from magazines in the checkout line.  The promise we make ourselves every year.  The promise we break within about a month week.  Do me a favor, will you?  Know that you are already fabulous & just go from there.  Take it a day (or hour) at a time.

For the two of you who still check in from time to time……I love you.  🙂  We have been working on several things around here & have plans to knock out some smaller things soon.  I lost 35 pounds last year.  I’ll share with you what I did (and did NOT!) do to drop that weight.

The kitchen redo that has dragged on FOREVER is actually almost done!  We looovvvee the changes & I hope you will too!  You can see earlier kitchen posts here.

kitchen before and after

 

This boring wall in our entry will get stripes soon!

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(It already received some DIY Wainscoting love to cover that pink!)

The kids’ den has been painted & received a new light fixture.  It will also be sporting stripes soon!  Yeah, I’m a little in love with stripes since I did that wall in the garage & in our half bath.  Chevrons?  Ummm, not ready to make that leap on a wall yet.  Speaking of the half bath, it looks like it’s time to show the updates on that, too!  Wow!  I am BE.HIND.

And then, it’s almost time for Valentorture!  Yeah, I still call it that.  If you are ahead of the game and already working on that, you can check out some cute Valentine’s Day boxes and a pennant banner here.

It’s Monday, so I’m off to knock out errands.  Come back & visit soon!

 

Summery DIY Tablecloth

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Summery DIY Tablecloth

Ever had some super cute fabric that you just looved, but couldn’t figure out what in the world to with it?  I’ve had this adorable flip flop fabric forever, but just couldn’t find the perfect project for it.

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As I sat looking at our boring well-used patio table, it came to me.  A tablecloth.  We eat outside A LOT during the spring and summer and for some reason I just really hate to wipe down that table.  The answer – a tablecloth.  We’ve used vinyl tablecloths some in the past, but they too have to be wiped down.  Which is what I’m trying to avoid.  Then I started using some flat sheets, folded in 1/2.  It solved the wiping down issue (throw it in the wash), but wasn’t very cute.  But NOW, I could do cute!

So, I grabbed my tape measure & zipped back out to measure the table.  (That counted as my workout for the day, because the tape measure was in the craft room on the 2nd floor.) 🙂  I measured the diameter of the table & headed back up to measure my fabric.  I had just enough.  To mark the fabric, I first folded it in half, then measured the length and found the center.  Then I stuck a safety pin through my tape measure and pinned it through the fold at the center.  That allowed me to simply move the tape in a semi-circle around the folded fabric and mark the outline of my tablecloth.

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Problem.  My fabric was a little narrow.  So, I had to cut it smaller than I wanted, but I figured I could fix that with a border.  Once the fabric was marked & cut, I was ready to use some scrap fabric for the border.  All I needed was the circumference so I would know how much fabric I neeeded, right?  Umm…..I’ve been out of school for a while….and math was never my strong suit.  How do you figure the circumference??!!  No worries, all 3 of our kids received letters saying they qualified for advanced math classes this next school year.  “I’ll ask them”, said the lazy brilliant mom.  “Hey, girls!”  “Yeah?”  “What’s the formula to figure the circumference of a circle?”…….dead silence……  “Girls?”……”Hello?”…….  So, I had to start calling them by name and asking them as individuals.  “I don’t know.”  “Oh, gee, um, well, I think it’s …”  “It could be….Pie R Squared?”  Ooookaaayyyy.  Glad their daddy is a math wiz & can help with homework this year!  So, I went online & got the formula (2PIr).  Taking that number, I was able to figure the length of border fabric I needed.

**Just, please, remember to cut your border fabric LONGER than necessary.  Especially if you have my mad measuring skills!**

I wanted the border about 2 inches wide, so I cut my scrap into 2 1/2 inch strips for seam allowance.  Then, I pinned the devil out of it.  Seriously, when you are putting a straight strip of fabric on a circle, use every last pin you can find!

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I pinned, and pinned, and pinned, and …… ran out of fabric.  Great.  THAT is why you cut your strips LONGER than you think you need.  So I grabbed another piece of border scrap, and cut another strip.  I just stuck it on the sewing machine to join it to the other strip & then continued pinning.  Once it was all pinned.  Aaaalllll the way around, I realized I had not hemmed it.  Which is best done BEFORE attaching the border to the circle.  So I UNpinned it.  Gggrrrrr…  Then I decided I didn’t want to hem it, because that was a pain.

Solution…………..2″ wide navy blue ribbon & fabric glue.  I had plenty.  Right?

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Yeah, the mad measuring skills kicked in & I ended up with a frantic run to Hobby Lobby the next morning for navy ribbon.  They had one roll left.  One.  Thank you, Lord for caring about the small things.

Once all was glued on & REpinned to the circle, I ran it through on a straight stitch.  That’s pretty close to the extent of my awesome sewing abilities.  And here is how my summery tablecloth looks on our well-used table –

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You’d think I would have taken the pic from an angle that did NOT include the seam, but oh well.  It’s fun & it saves me from having to wipe the table.

Now to do something with the rest of the deck!

Honey Do List Revamp

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It has been well established that men & women are just so very different.  (Which I think is a good thing.)  However, my sweet hubby & I are very much alike in one way – our memories are becoming non-existent.  Especially regarding things we don’t really want to do.  Anyone else experiencing this phenomena??  We would talk about all the things that need to be done around the house & yard…….and then forget about them.  So, nothing was getting done.  One day my daughter told me she needed something for school.  I told her to write it on a sticky note & stick it to my steering wheel.  I’m in the car all day, so if it’s on the horn I see it & am more likely to get it done.  **Light bulb!**  “Hmmm….if that works for me, perhaps it will work for hubs..”  Enter the new idea for our Honey Do List.

Hubs came home from work on Tuesday to find his new “Honey Do List”.  🙂  It was displayed prominently in his favorite spot.  Do you see it?

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Yep.  The “List” is now on sticky notes.  Post-It notes to be exact, because their “sticky” is just better.  No, they aren’t paying me to say that.  I can assure you they don’t know I exist.  But I know their sticky notes exist & that’s what matters.  Now, when I need hubs to take care of something, I write it on a sticky note & put it by (or on) his computer.  When he completes the item, he trashes the note.  Actually, he folds the note in 1/2 and lays it to one side.  I trash the note.

If you & your sweetie (or kids) are having trouble getting things done, perhaps this will work for you too.  Just write one thing on each sticky note.  (I’m also careful to begin with the word “Please” to make it a little less demanding.)

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Once the item is done, the note goes in the trash.  Probably not the best solution for recurring things, but for occasional things, it works really well.  So far.  For our recurring things (ie: kids’ chores), we use our laminated chore cards.

Shhhh…..I think it’s love….

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I think it’s love.  I really do.  Not sure if the hubs knows just yet.  🙂  You see, it started with a recommendation from a friend when we met at Starbuck’s the other day.  (I don’t drink coffee.  Ever.  It holds no appeal to me.)  But, meetings with friends are rare lately, so I told her I would be there.  Looking for an alternative to “coffee” anything, I spotted Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa on the menu.  Hmmm…..okay.  I like caramel & I like cocoa, so let’s give ‘er a go.  About 5 minutes later I was wondering if they offered free refills.  🙂  And the next day, I was back to order another one.  Ahhh, guilty pleasures.

Have you tried this?  Well, of course you have.  I am always a little slow at jumping on a bandwagon-I have no Chevron anything in my house, much less subway art.  Yeah, a little slow.  BUT, I’m on this one now!  Nothing like a $4 cup of caloric lusciousness!  (Mr. Starbucks said it would cost more if I wanted espresso in it, which made me thankful for my dislike of anything remotely “coffee”.)  Then, wonder of wonders, guess what I spotted at WAL-MART?!?!  THIS:

Oh. My. Word.  So, I can now have EIGHT mugs of wonderment for less than $6.  As opposed to ONE mug of fabulous for roughly $4.  Yes, please!

Today is rainy & nasty – perfect for a mug of cocoa.

So, excuse me if I slurp.  🙂  You should get one too, so I won’t be drinking alone.

Beautiful Day Ramblings

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You ever had one of those days that was just awesome without even trying?  Today is one of those days here at Do & Redo, so I just thought I’d share.  I think it started with the wind.  Do you just love the wind?  I do.  Always have.  I think it’s because it symbolizes freedom to me.  It’s just seems so untamed and free.  The way I have always longed to be.  Thankfully the Lord saw fit to give me a strong sense of responsibility to keep me grounded.  Most of the time.

Where was I?  Oh, the wind.  So, the wind is blowing free here in our little piece of the South & it just inspires me.  Yeah, I had a lot to do today…what else is new.  But today, I drove in dappled sunshine & down 2 lanes with hardwood trees on either side that were raining colorful leaves on my old van as we took care of errands.  Today I had a coupon for free pancakes & enjoyed a chatty waitress.  Today I took my time in the grocery store, planning our weekend with the inlaws in town.  (Grilling burgers & brats tonight!  Yum!)  Today I drove up to our 30 year old fixer upper & noticed the hydrangeas blooming.  Today I threw open the back door to the screened deck & listened to the acorns raining down as I whipped up a Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.

    

Speaking of acorns, my sweet boy LOVES to snack on acorns.  Acorns that we have in abundance around here.  Yeah.  That causes a whole different kind of wind.  Whew!  He may be cute but acorns make him produce toxic smells.  But, I digress… here he his trying to subtly hint that he wants to play fetch.  Or take a nap.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell….

But, back to the cake.  That cake is baking in an electric oven.   Which reminds me how thankful I am for technology.  The dishwasher is humming along, taking care of the breakfast dishes & mixer bowl.  A mixer bowl that mixes without my arms getting tired.  Thank you KitchenAid!

 

The tea maker is taking care of my family’s sweet tea.  (I am the odd ball who only drinks UNsweet tea ’round here.  With lemon, in case you want to bring some by.)  🙂

Upstairs the washing machine & dryer are taking care of loads # 3 & 4 for today.  No washboards, thankyouverymuch.  Although I do have to say that if you are considering a front loader washing machine, DON’T DO IT.  If it was cheaper mistake to “redo”, I would do it.  Right now.  I simply cannot fathom having to CLEAN my washing machine.  That’s absurd to me.  Front loaders must be cleaned.  Regularly.  Just don’t do it.  There’s a reason they went out of style for so long, friend.  Just sayin’.  There’s also a reason I won’t post a pic.  Many more loads are currently sorted on the floor in front of said washer & dryer.   Tunes are blaring on my iPhone as I buzz around the house.  And I get to chat with friends I haven’t met yet, thanks to our PC.  Thank you inventors of technology!

I hope you have a beautiful, rambling Fall day in your neck of the woods!