Large family new house room by room series part 1 living room

Hey everyone, hope your off to a great start this morning I am finally getting to this new series in how we organize our new home.  Hope your enjoy.

I like to look back and see how we did things a few years ago and see how we have changed from the various different seasons in our life.  It is amazing at how much different life is just by having your little ones grow up.  Just wait Mommas, they will get there soon and you will have time for things:)

I am also including a video of each room at the end of the posts if you would like to see that.

Here is our front entryway closet.  I don’t use it for coats, those are in other designated areas.  This closet is for storage.  I store our coolers, which I use pretty much every time I leave my home.  I take them shopping to keep items cold because it can get warm here and I don’t like my milk spoiled or my frozen items unthawed.

I also keep our folding chairs that we use when we hang out at the lake in the warmer months in here.  Our sportbrella is stored in here as well.   We have a tent and a car seat that Stephen will graduate to in a few short months.  It is basically my seasonal items.

Up on top we have the childrens blow up swim pool.  I had some blow up floating rings but have since used them and they have popped.  Snow tubing will ruin them.:) I keep a container of Christmas decorations in here as well.  I acquired many more this year and this is where I decided to keep them.  I put my wreaths just sitting on top of the container.  No one goes in here so it is a good closet to store things out of the way.

Here is a wall hanging that I made out of an old picture frame that I spray painted espresso brown.  The flowers were in a  vase that we decorated our old home with and the letter M, I used on a wreath that had gotten smashed during our move.  All hot glued together.

This family tree my husband laser engraved for us and I framed it with same spray painted frame as the other wall hanging.  I put some material for a backing.

Here is our living room.  It is the simple, quieter room.

The couch Lauren found for me, was one that someone was getting rid of.  I got the pillows and blankets from a thrift store.  The coffee table and end tables I got at Big Lots.  (yes, they have nice things) The lamps we had bought years ago and I brought them here from Michigan.

The club chairs I got from Big Lots as well.  The wall hanging I found at Goodwill.  The table decorations were things I repurposed from the thrift store as well. Can you tell I love thrift stores?  The curtains were from BigLots too.

When we first found this house I was so happy with all of the colors.  They are exactly what I decorate with….brown and teal.  I like a splash of orange as well.  Saving that for other areas of the home. 

On the wall is a wrought iron hanging from Hobby Lobby.  I want to get another one for the other side, I just had something else that I have since removed because I did not like it. I am also looking for one of those half circle round tables for that left side.  In time, I will find all of the things I’d like to decorate with. I have a small basket full of pinecones that we acquired from here as well.  Those probably won’t stay as the months warm up.  The chair is from my friend Tammy.  After telling her what I wanted in here, she found it for me a week later!

The mantle items are from Hobby Lobby as well.  A new one went in and I found some great deals on things.

I love that all the furniture, even though I found it at different places all has the same wooden feet on them.  This makes it easy to clean underneath because this room accumulates game pieces and legos?!?!?!  We use the fireplace to just add a little bit of warmth in the early morning hours or when we want to snuggle up and be cozy during the cold winter days.  For Christmas my husband was going to come out and get coffee going and start the fireplace, but it was so warm that day we had the windows open!

This is our “All because two people fell in love….” wall.  All the pictures are Modge Podge onto wood and are from various favorite places here in the area.

The cross was from our realtor, Lori.  I love it.

This is our living room, simple and easy to keep clean.

untypical sunday in our large family vlog

Good morning everyone!  Hope your day is starting off on a great foot.  We have had a snow and ice filled weekend.   Which means for slower WIFI in our home.  I wanted to get this up yesterday but wasn’t able until it finished this morning.

Its what I did for our untypical Sunday.  Have a a blessed day.  Remember to expect something GREAT today.

My once a month food prep and daily life 1-5-17

Good morning!  Hope your day is starting off well.  I was up early due to “Black Kitty” jumping up and scaring Stephen.   Four o’ clock is pretty early, oh well at least I have a good start to my day:)  By the way, the cat did have an “official” name but has since been changed my the little ones to “Black Kitty.”  It is great when you take him to the vet and they ask for his name and they give you a look.  It is good fun.

This week is my shopping once a month trip.  After all of the holidays and all of the food, it has been time to get back to normal and make some healthier meals.  I started out on Monday and planned out my menu for the month.

monthly menu new  —you can view that here.

It helps me to plan out what we are going to be eating for the month and then do the shopping one time and get all of the ingredients verses running back and forth each week picking up all of the little ingredients.  I typically do this at the beginning of the month and then when we do our running each week, I may have to pick up milk or something else that I had forgotten or ran out of.   Plus if I am not able to get out and go shopping, I always have food to make for my family.

I write down any meal prep that I have when I get my bulk meat on the right hand side so that when I purchase all of my meat, I know what I have to make without going through the menu again.

This month we made 4 batches of breakfast sausage bites. I just realized I don’t have a recipe for these—-easy.  One package of breakfast sausage, mix with 2 cups shredded cheese and then mix with 2 cups of baking mix.  If it is too wet you can add some flour.  I also added a few eggs to make them stick well.  We rolled them into balls and put them on cookie sheets to freeze.  Then put them in bags.  When we need them to eat we will bake them in the oven 350 for 30 minutes.  Tastes like a breakfast sandwich but in little ball form.

I also made some gwumpkies and froze them. I like to make this when cucumbers are on sale and this week they were not.  So I froze the cabbage roll and will make them when I can get a good deal on cucumbers.

The girls helped me mix up batches of meatballs as well.  This will be used for spaghetti.

We then made some salsibury steak patties.  This will be good over noodles.

The rest I cooked and placed in my deli containers to freeze.  This was 25 lbs of ground chuck.   This all happened on Tuesday.  We also did a trip to Aldis and stocked up on our pantry essentials.  This store is great for that sort of thing.

Wednesday was my baking day.  It went rather quickly.  I got up early and started right away and was done by lunchtime.  I made some flax, chia, hemp seed bars.      I love these and they are great to grab and eat while on the go. I froze two big gallon bags of these.  They will last me for a long time.  That is the two bottom bags.  On top is energy bites for the children.

I then made up a big batch of chocolate granola to have for breakfast in the morning.  I told you I am trying to do good and eat oatmeal for breakfast.  It is not my favorite thing–but I am still doing it.  This will allow me something different and still taste good.  I will cut up some apple chunks or some dried cranberries and eat it with this. 

I also made apple dapple cake to have for the week.  I am working on using up what I have in my freezer and cut up apples is something I have a lot of.  Above it is an egg casserole.  I made that for dinner that night.  I mixed up some ham, potatoes, onions, eggs, milk, can of cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream.  Yes sour cream.  It makes it nice and fluffy.  This was served with some sausage pancake bites we had leftover in the freezer from the holidays.

I made a batch of banana and chocolate zucchini bread.  These were made as gifts.  I kept one for us and gave the others away.  To the right on the pedestal are blueberry scones.

We made these in December and they were good.  I had bought two containers of heavy whipping cream and never made them again. I decided to make some before the cream went bad.  This time I rolled them into balls instead of rolling them out to look like real scones.  The balls worked!  We also had red and white sugar crystals so we added them for a topping.

I also was behind in making my kombucha so I made a batch of that up as well. For flavoring I did blueberries and cranberries. 

At Christmastime I received a batch of Friendship tea from our Pastor’s wife.  I had never had it before and wasn’t sure I would like it.  Well I did!  I liked it so much that I needed to make more of it.  It is a combination of sweet tea, tang, lemonade, cloves, and cinnamon.  I know lots of sugar.  But at night time it is nice to have a cup of hot tea instead of eating snacks!My new favorite for night time.

That was my day yesterday.  We also had to mail some packages and so we decided to make a park run so that we could get our daily running/walking/riding scooters in.  It was a little colder.  Some didn’t have coats on and some had hoodies on.  We did a fast run and got done in 15 minutes!  I think a cold front is coming in!!!

We have been doing good being back at school routine, keeping the house in order, and just living life.  I have been working on doing some videos with my new camera but I am still new at it and am having troubles.  I will keep at it.  The only way to get something accomplished is to try, try, and try again.  Even when you don’t think you have two seconds to spare:)  Have a blessed day today and make sure that you take time to SMILE for those little ones.  Even if that means sitting on the floor when you ONLY have five minutes to throw a load of laundry in or you keep looking up and noticing fingerprints all over the windows.  Ignore it and sit with your babies on the floor.  Spend time with them.  They will love it!!!  Be blessed and see you soon!!

FREE online event Sustainable Community Summit 2017

Good morning everyone, hope your day is off to a great start!  Today I am going to share with you about something I have taken part in for the past couple months. I’ve been “behind the curtains,” of an amazing online event being put together just for you…

My own words here………….I don’t believe in going all out in our mode of thinking as far as “prepping” for an end time situation.  But as a Mom, I do believe in preparing for situations that could happen in life. I believe in having an ample food, water, and emergency supply as best as I can for my family. I realize that God is my ultimate source in time of need BUT I also believe that God gives us wisdom in preparing and planning for our future.

I was contacted by this group a while back because of my understanding about living a simpler lifestyle.  I guess I have always just lived this way and didn’t really think it was “a trend” for  certain groups.  Well with all of this said, I am taking part in it.  I believe in sharing the resources and information that I have with others so that is what I have done.  After reviewing through some of the other speakers I think that some of them are looking very interesting to take note of and maybe take some suggestions.  Am I a believer in all of them?  I don’t know as I have not heard all of their interviews.  I can only speak for myself and the words I have said.  With all of this, I like information, I like being informed, especially being a stay at home mom not out in the world everyday.  And another thing……its FREE.  You have nothing to lose.  You get to hear podcasts on a variety of topics and it doesn’t cost you anything.  That is why I am sharing this with you.

…in just a few weeks, everyone is going to be talking about this, and now you have the inside scoop on…

… the Sustainable Community Summit!

This summit is going to be a real eye opener…especially for those just getting interested in living sustainable lifestyles!

You’re going to be exposed to the truth about the fragility of our current infrastructures to help prepare you and your family for long term survival in the event all systems crash.

Not to be all doom and gloom, but many of use are already beginning to setup our own lifestyle to be more in harmony with the world around us and more under our own control.

We’ve taken the liberty of assembling some of the top minds in the area of Sustainability for this ground-breaking 7-day online event…

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The best part about all of this…

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As an added bonus, this summit is being hosted online, which means you can attend from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection… pretty cool huh?

You do not have to book flights, make travel arrangements, endure lengthy layovers, stay in less than homey hotel rooms…or my personal favorite…deal with those overzealous TSA agents.

You will be learning how to…

–Establish a Network of Like-Minded Individuals
–Buy Gold & Silver and Set Up a Barter Economy
–Establish a Community Government & Make Your Own Laws
–Maintain a Clean Sustainable Source of Water & Food
–Grow Your Own Food Indoors or Outdoors Without Soil
–Understand Martial Law & Provide Security
–Go Totally or Partially Off-Grid
–Understand the Coming Decentralization of Energy
through Clean, Affordable Solar and how to Profit from it
–What & Why Our Own Government is Doing to Stop This
Movement to Be Self-Reliant… And What You Can Do
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Simply Reserve Your Seat before life steps in the way and causes you to forget…

You’ll get access to the event and be able to listen to all 24 speakers for free over the entire 7 day event…

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P.S. There is plenty of space for any and all who want to attend this Sustainable Summit! We are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible over the next 2 weeks, so if you know anyone in your circle of friends who would be interested in attending, please feel free to share this email with them…I would really appreciate it!

Here’s that link again for you to share:
[ Claim Your Free Pass to the Sustainable Summit Here ]


Its FREE, nothing to lose. When you enter your email address it will ask if you want to upgrade to an early bird access, just scroll down and click “No thanks.”  They will send you a reminder when it gets closer.  Have a blessed day today!

Storing my Christmas tree for $5 and a day in the life 12/29/16

Good morning.  Hope your day is off to a good start.  I am working my way back into some sort of routine after our busy month.  I am staying on track for two days now!  Go me!  As you know, the day after Christmas is my time when I take down every sign of Christmas in my home.  I can’t possibly start organizing new things if I have to work my way around a big ol tree and decorations everywhere?!!?  My predicament this year was how to store my tree.

We have done a live tree over the last few years.  When we moved out of state, that was one thing we were not about to transport.  It was a good thing because there wasn’t much room for storing an item you use once per year.  Myself, I would not do a tree. But I know that my husband and my children enjoy it.  To me its one more thing to store, one more thing to keep picking up the ornaments from, and not the focus of my Christmas.  Every year my friend and I send text back and forth about the heathen practice of going into the forest and cutting down a tree and decorating it with silver and gold.  I’m like there is my reason for NOT having a tree:)      Okay but back to my children’s love of this time of year.

This year, we were looking around for a tree.  We were going to do a real one, but some of the children have been dealing with allergies since moving to this part of the world and I thought it probably wasn’t a good idea to get a real one.  Then looking at the stores they were like $100 for a tree!! Who wants to pay $100 for a tree when that money can go for gifts or some other special treat?  Seemed ridiculous to me.  Then Lauren, who hunts down deals, found a discount store that had tons of Christmas trees. She came home one day with one for our upstairs room.  It was nice and didn’t cost much.  Then the following day, she came home with another tree for the downstairs room of the house!  So now we have two trees to decorate, yeah?!?!?!

The problem with these two trees is that they didn’t come with boxes.  I was thinking that I would go to Walmart and buy a tree box to store them in.  But the more and more I thought about it, the box I was going to get is big.  I didn’t know where I would store it.  My husband was going to put it in the garage, but the garage is his work shop and Collin’s garage to do his cars in.  I didn’t want them to have to finagle a place for a tree box.  I know I didn’t want to store this under our beds or in our closets, been there and done that many years ago.  The reason for having a real tree.  Then I woke up the other day with the idea of using our huge roll of plastic wrap to wrap the tree in.  BINGO!  That was it!

We had bought a huge roll at Sams Club and used it when we did our tailgate markets a couple of years ago.  I don’t use it normally, so to me, it has been sitting in my pantry wasting away.  I used  a bunch for a game at our cookie exchange—Saran wrap gift ball.  Now I could use up some more.

Evan and I went outside and put the tree in sections.  He pushed all the branches one way and then we started wrapping it.  It was working!  It seemed it was easier when I was holding the roll up higher and he was twisting the tree on the ground.

I figured I used about $5 worth of plastic wrap to wrap up two Christmas trees.  We then opened up our attic—which we don’t store anything in and pushed them up over the ledge on the inside.  BANG!  DONE!  Out of sight out of mind.  To me, the best way to store your Christmas tree.  Way less space and protected from dust and dirt.  It works!

Now onto my day…………………….

This is what I have been “forcing” myself to eat every morning.  My coffee—a given:)  and a bowl of oatmeal with some dried Michigan cherries.  I ate the oatmeal when I had lost all my weight a few years ago and then I got slack.  I didn’t put it all back on but a few pounds have been creeping their way back onto my hips and stomach over this last month.  Too many treats and me getting lazy.  I started eating this the day after Christmas.  I made 1/2 cup of oatmeal and then ate about half of that.  Each day I force myself to eat a little bit more.  It honestly has been helping me not to feel that enraged hunger feelings for later in the day when I falter and splurge on junk!  My goal is to continue this every morning—even if I don’t like it.

I am also going to prioritize that my children and I get out at least for 1/2 hour every day. It has been very nice here high 50s and 60s for the past few weeks.  I just need to load them up and drive 4 minutes to the park to ride scooters and walk.  It is all about the drive and motivation and it has to come from someone—-MOM!

I was getting out myself every morning and walking my driveway–which is very steep.  But my children need to see that exercise is important for them as well.  They would be very happy to stay inside all day and play and watch videos.  I need to take the step and initiate it.  It is hard at times, I get it.  I would much rather go do something that I NEED to get done instead of losing what—- a whole half hour out of my day—smile.

This is going to be my priority. If we can’t drive to the park then we will have to get out and walk our driveway—which if we did that two times we would be tired:)  But the park is more fun for them.  It will show them that exercise isn’t drudgery.  It will make all of us feel better. 

Plus it will help lose those few extra pounds put on this month.  We have no school for the rest of the week.  I did get in some of our history books and DVDs from the library, so we are reading those each day.  The rest of our week will be enjoying our new things, getting ready to get back in routine of school next week, and taking care of things that I normally don’t get to do.

Like sit on the hammock.  My brother installed our hammock when he was here visiting.  We used to have this back in Michigan but never had any place to put it at our old house, now we can put it right over the front of our house.  You can lay and look up at the mountain views and enjoy the mountain breezes.  Seems relaxing.  My children love to do it, I haven’t yet.  Maybe this week.   

Today I will make up a batch of caramel corn to snack on.  I know, I know, I said no more treats.  But my husband mentioned to me last night that my caramel corn was delicious and would I make some more?    The good thing about this is that you can make more popcorn and that will help spread out the sugary topping.  Then it isn’t so bad.  It can be a nice treat for us and inexpensive.  Try some.  Very easy to make and tastes so good.

Have a blessed day today.  I hope you get some things done that you have been wanting to.  Take some time with your children.  Make something special for that hubby of yours and enjoy being a Mom!  Love you guys.  Have a great day!