Friday, May 18, 2007

Hello from Chapel Hill, NC

Hi there!

I am in Chapel Hill, NC. Mom and I flew up yesterday, meeting Dad who was already here on business. My cousin, Marianna, is getting married here today. We're here for the wedding. Most of Mom's family is here, and I never see them, so it should be nice to spend time with them. My Aunt Mida and three of my cousins are staying in the same hotel as we are, and we just saw her for a few minutes this morning. We're going out to breakfast with them at 9:30.

Sorry my posting has been pretty sporatic lately. I've just been pretty busy! With schoolwork, and cleaning, spending time with friends, reading, talking Ben (<3), plus being at the abortion mill regularly, I just haven't had that much time!

The wedding is today, and tomorrow morning we're going to church. First Baptist in Durham, NC is on the 9 Marks website, and they have a service at 8, so we're going there. After church, we're going to my cousin and her (then) husband's house for a fairwell brunch. Ben is picking Mom and I up sometime tomorrow afternoon, as he and his family only live a couple hours from where we are. He's taking us back to covenant farm. Mom is meeting his parents for the first time, so that is exciting! She'll be staying until until Tuesday. I'm staying for another week, after Mom leaves. I'm so happy I get to see Ben. It's been a couple of months since we've seen each other, so I really can't wait...I'm so excited. I love him SO much!! :)

His business continues to pick up, so we're both very thankful to our Lord for that! We're very much looking forward to seeing what he has in store. He truly is so good, and gives us far more than we will ever deserve!

I better get going, but I hope everyone is doing well. I will try to be more regular with my posting again. :)

Paper Towels

I have a Frugal Fridays post for this week! :o)

Recently, I've tried to stop using paper towels unless it's absolutely necessary. I think I've almost got it narrowed down to using them just when I clean the outside of the toilet. We used to go through at least one roll per week, and now we hardly go through any!

One of the things we used to use them a lot was covering food in the microwave. Then, I found a nifty plastic thing at wal-mart that is to cover up was only a couple of dollars and should last a long time. We just wash it when it needs washing. :)

Also, I've been using dish towels instead of paper towels to clean the counters and other things with. We have an abundance of dish towels so that works out fine.

So, that's my tip for the day! I don't know how much it saves us, but I know it saves some, and it's easy to do!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Get Some Tissues...

This video is so touching, definitely worth your time to watch. It's so tragic to think that many people would have ended the life of a precious little one like this boy, Eliot.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I know, I said I'd have an update up last Tuesday, but I've been busy. I'll try and get one up tomorrow. In the mean time, this is going to be an easy week for cooking! :o) Dad is leaving on Wednesday and Mom and I are joining him Friday in NC for my cousin's wedding the following day!

Sunday~BBQ (Grandma's recipe)--Pastor and his family came over. What a blessing!
Monday~Tacos (super easy...boil and debone a chicken, put chicken pieces in tortillas and roll up, place in a pan, top with salsa--we use salsa verde--and cheese, back at 350 for 30 minutes, service with sour cream, rice&beans)
Wednesday~Bridal shower@ Women's Group
Thursday~Baked ziti
Friday~we'll eat somewhere in NC
Saturday~Wedding reception is a sit-down dinner

Monday, May 07, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Real update should come tomorrow, but for menu for the week:

Monday~Southwestern Roll-ups
Wednesday~Nacho Grande Casserole
Friday~Pepper Jack Pizza (we ended up having normal pizza last week)
Saturday~Balsamic Thyme Chicken w/ Grandma's Vegetable Salad (recipe to come)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Works for Me: The Birthday Edition

Since I am not allowed to get a job, my Dad gives me a fairly substantial allowance to cover the few 'expenses' I have as a 17-year-old (I probably spend most of my money on books *grin*).

But anyway...because I get a nice allowance, Mom and Dad do not purchase my friends' birthday presents for me anymore like they did when I was a little girl. Most people have a favorite 'sweet treat' of some sort that they enjoy, so baking them a present is a nice idea. That and a card usually makes them smile and feel special. Not to mention that most people have everything they need, and I don't want to add to their clutter, either!

That's what works for me!

Guest Room

This is the Guest Room that I organized for the 30 Day Organizational Challenge at Org Junkie, which ends today. Before and After pictures are below, followed by the answers to the questions Laura posted.






Aah...Hopefully our next guest will enjoy having a nice, clean room. Ben comes to see us (me) more often than anyone else so this room is affectionately called "Ben's Room." :o) (yes, yes...I love him!). But, anyway...enough fluff...onto the questions.

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
The hardest part was probably having to wait for a time when Mom and I could spend a solid chunk of time going through the things in the room. With her starting a subbing position and me starting college (correspondance), that wasn't as easy as it always has been. We did the bulk of it before she started the 4 week job, though.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place for your room/space to maintain its new order?
We just need to not use the room as a catch-all. It is only ever used when we have company, so maintaining its order shouldn't be hard.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge from your newly organized space?
We threw away a lot of stuff. The rest of it is in boxes waiting to be picked up by the Vietnam Vets. There are 2 moving boxes of stuff to give away. Aaah... (yes, that's a sigh of relief)

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
Don't keep things unless you'll use them! It doesn't matter if they're nice. If they won't be used, give them away. Don't just keep stuff everywhere.

5. Now that you've completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping the space organized will make a difference in your life?
It will be good to have it looking nice for company, and cut down on the "stress" of getting ready for house guests. :)

My Laundry Room

The 30 Day Organizational Challenge is over today! This is the first of my two entries; my small laundry room. My post from the beginning of the challenge is here. Below are my before and after pictures.

Before After
With this sink area, most of what I did was put the things away that were sitting around the sink. The bulk of the time I spent on it was scrubbing the sink, though. Notice the brilliant white shine :D It had layers and layers of paint in it. I'm not sure it had EVER been cleaned! I used a lot of all-purpose cleaner as well as some acetone for the paint. Steel Wool helped a lot, too, to scrub off some of the chunks of paint.


For this portion of the room, I put things away in the containers we purchased and cleaned the washer and drier with all-purpose cleaner.


One word: containerize! One problem we had was that a lot of bottles of cleaner we had were partially used. I combined the ones that were the same, and got rid of a lot of bottles. Then, we bouht containers for the rest of the things. They are labeled. The ones in the container up there are our extras. The cleaners in current use are now happily hanging on the back of the door:So, there you have newly organized laundry room! :o) Now, to answer the questions Laura posted:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge and were you able to overcome it?
The challenge wasn't that difficult in and of itself. Probably getting motivated. The first few times I worked on it, it was easy, but after that I "lost interest" to a certain extent. I'm so glad I was able to do it though! One challenge was that life around the house changed considerably mid-challenge. My Mom took a substitute teaching position for four weeks and I started Bible college. Those were both pretty big changes that gave me less time to work on it and also got me distracted.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order.
One habit I've gotten into is putting the cleaners back on the back of the door when I finish my chores instead of just tossing them on the washing machine or up on the shelf. Also, I've developed the habit of putting the dog treats back up on the shelf after I give them a treat. Same with the laundry detergent.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
I recycled a LOT of bottles once I combined like cleaners into one bottle. That got rid of a lot of clutter. I also threw away old stuff that was no longer good. Getting rid of junk feels good. :o)

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
I learned that just putting things back where they go, even in a room that is seemingly unimportant, is a great habit to get into, and prevents you from having hours of cleaning to do. Really, there's NO cleaning to do in there if I just put things where they belong after using them!

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
I think it will be really nice to have the room continually remain clean. It's usually the first room we come into when we come in the house since it's just inside from the garage. Hopefully it will be nice for my Dad when he comes home from work to have the first room he sees not be chaotic. :o)