Friday, July 30, 2010

From the Teacher’s Desk: Routine Maintenance


It’s August, which here in the South means schools starts in just a few weeks.  Those of you in the North are beginning your last month of summer vacation, and you don’t want to talk about school.  You have some choices now: a) keep reading so you can be the super-organized, on-top-of-it parent next month; b) cover your ears (eyes?) and go “blah, blah, blah, I don’t want to talk about school!”; or c) put a virtual sticky note somewhere and come back to this when you are ready.

Notice I didn’t suggest leaving your computer and going to lie in the hammock with a book.  Teachers never  admit that an assignment might be optional.  (Kids who most need extra credit rarely do it; Sally Over-Achiever does it and gets a 105 on her test.)   This post is necessary, like vitamins or toothpaste.

As school approaches, reestablishing school routines can help the transition feel less like a bucket of cold water on your head.  At least two weeks before the first day, begin going to bed a little earlier and getting up at a more realistic hour.  Our bodies need time to adjust to a new rhythm.  Once school begins, I’m up by 5:00 am.  If I don’t acclimate my body to that well before it becomes a necessity, I’m in trouble!

If you have teenagers, this process will be met with much moaning, groaning, and cries for mercy.  Ask me how I know.

For younger children, adjust not only bedtime, but also mealtimes.  If you can, find out when your child’s grade will go to lunch.  Some schools must begin serving lunch at strangely early hours.  (One of my kids had lunch at 10:50!  Who wants tacos at 10:50?)   Modifying your home routine may keep your child from refusing lunch (and then being miserable two hours later) or being positively ravenous (and therefore miserable) before lunch is served. 

If you persevered to the end of this post. you get an A+! 

Enjoy these last summer days (but set your alarm.)  Be blessed!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Linky Love

Spent the day in new teacher orientation.  (Beyond dull.)

Came home to DD#1 and Big Red, back from their mission trip. (Beyond wonderful!)

Sent DD#2 to grandparents. (Sniff)

Needing a nap. (Yawn.)

Because right now I am both a) overwhelmed and b) boring, I am sending you to visit a few more of my must-reads:

On the agenda next week: freezer cooking following the tips from here.

Once I got over being jealous of her insane organization skills, I’ve found lots to inspire me here.

Go here.  Get up and make yourself a glass of lemonade and let the pictures download.  Prepare to be stunned at her creativity.

Talk to you soon!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

Still no pictures to show, but the memory card has been backed up and is ready to be reformatted.  Or so the techno-geeks tell me. 

Anyhow, I thought I’d say a photo-less hello.

Some Monday musings:

* Sent DD#1 off with our church youth on a mission trip yesterday.  Praying, praying, praying that she will know that God wants to use her NOW, not just some time in the future.

* Speaking of DD#1, I wouldn’t be a high school freshman again if my life depended on it.

* Is it just plain HOT where you live?  We are baking.  Boiling.  Roasting.  Frying.

*I am having the sweetest time in Bible study this summer.  We are doing Jesus  the One and Only.  I did it the first time with a three year old and a one year old.  How far the Lord has walked with me since then!  It has been precious to look back on those years with Him and explore the new perspectives He has given me in this very different season.

*Our Sunday school class is diving into the Armor of God by Selwyn Hughes this summer also.  LOVE it.  Tiny volume, HUGE insight. 

*DD#2 and I are off to be tourists in our own town today.  No Walmart errands allowed.

Be blessed on your Monday!



Friday, July 23, 2010

The Post that Wasn’t

I had a post planned featuring my latest thrifty find, but my computer won’t read my photo disk this morning!  Ackk!!

I just want you to visualize a super cute, striped Kate Spade purse. 

Imagine that it costs $4.00.

Then imagine that it’s not your imagination.


DD#1 and I have had a great week.  Hope your weekend is wonderful!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going M.I.A. (Mothering in Action)


The next two weeks look a little different here at the ‘House.  Yesterday, we put DD#2 on a bus to church camp, so DD#1 and I have some one-on-one time planned (i.e. shopping and Starbucks).  Next week, it reverses; DD#1 leaves to serve with a youth mission team, and DD#2 and I will craft and browse antique shops.  (NO clothes shopping.  ZERO. ZIP. NADA.)

All to say, I may be a bit M.I.A. around Bloggyland.

I’ll be busy being Mom.

Regularly scheduled programming will return shortly, with a few updates in the line-up.  Beginning in August, Mondays at Dwelling in the House will be devoted to “tips from the teacher”, a view from the other side of the desk to help your child (and you) have a better school year.  If you have specific questions/topics you’d like to see addressed in those posts, let me know.  Other days, I’ll give you a chance to link your best back-to-school advice! 

Let me hush; my kids don’t like it when we talk school in July! ;-0

Be blessed today!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mini Makeovers

This will be quick; we’ve got company coming! 

In the midst of my super-unproductive summer, I have managed to finish a few mini-makeovers.

I’ve seen about 40 gazillion of these around in Blogland, so I decided to make 40 gazillionth + one, by transforming this homely little cheese dome


into this:


The Rustoleum paint I used came out waaaayyy more purple-toned than I wanted ( I was going for barn red), so this got a rubdown with ebony stain.  Better.

The sweet green glass on this lamp caught my eye—and so did the $1.00 price tag!  I didn’t love its original  brass accents, so out came the weapon of all bloggy crafters: Heirloom White spray paint.  The shade wasn’t a thrifty find, but the $8 total tag for a cutey addition to my desk still wins in my book.


Finally, an old whiteboard in our mudroom-command-central needed a little freshening up.  I used not-thrifty magnetic primer and topped it with my never-ending can of blackboard paint.


Verdict: Much better, though I wish the magnetism were stronger.  The directions say three thin coats; I’d do at least 4 if I were to do it over. Which I’m not.  Yet.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of magnetic primer left over.  What should I do with it?  Magnetize the inside of some kitchen cabinets?  A magnetic clipboard?  How about a coat on my forehead, so I can keep up with my to-do list?  Ideas?

Happy Thrifting! Be blessed!



Linking up at Transformation Thursday , Thrifty Thursday

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Top Two on a Tasty Tuesday: Summer Sandwiches

It’s time for today’s

Top Two!

 This edition features last night’s sandwich duo: one ultra quick but surprisingly yummy chicken panini and a delectable homemade ice cream treat.

1. Grilled Chicken Sandwich:


For each sandwich, you will need

one grilled chicken breast

ciabatta roll

slices of extra sharp cheddar (we love Cabot’s)

fresh basil leaves (definitely not optional)

sliced tomato (optional: DDs both passed on this)

and the surprise: shredded cabbage  (Don’t be shocked; it holds up well for grilling and adds flavor and crunch.)

On both halves of the roll, layer cheese slices. Top with other ingredients and grill on your panini maker, George Foreman, or whatever you’ve got until warmed through with gooey, melty cheese.

2. Ice Cream Sandwiches:


Prepare Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the Cookies! Cookie Lover’s Collection cookbook)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (opt)

Preheat oven to 375* Combine sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well-blended.  Add dry ingredients and beat on low until soft dough forms.  Stir in chips and nuts.   Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool one minute before removing from baking sheets.

For ice cream sandwiches, put a small scoop of your favorite ice cream between two cooled cookies.  Freeze until firm.


Be blessed today!


Linking up with Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday,  Tuesday Tastes.   Tuesdays at the Table


Monday, July 12, 2010

My (very incomplete) Happy List or Why I am not a Niche Blogger


(picture that has nothing whatsoever to do with this post; I just liked it)

Lately I’ve read several blogs that are struggling with the problem of purpose. Either they wonder aloud about their own point, or they lament the pointlessness of others.

All of which got me thinking: what is the point of this blog?

Do I have to have a point?


(another pointless picture)

I love decorating and arty/crafty blogs, but this isn’t one.

I love devotional or inspirational blogs that lift me up in my walk with the Lord, but, while I hope I’ve encouraged you and shared some Biblical  truth along the way, I don’t think I qualify there, either.

I don’t suppose I’m really a mommy blogger or even a homemaker blogger, since I don’t post pictures of my kids and they are at the age where anything I write about them is embarrassing. (Mommy bloggers beware: the days of cute pics and funny stories are limited.  Have a Plan B.)

As a Christ-follower, I have divine purpose: “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

My purpose isn’t limited to earth, so essentially, my job description won’t change for eternity.  For now, however, that assignment can take shape within any work, any home situation, any blog.

We want a laundry list of work to do; He offers us a lifestyle of worship instead. 

I have a long list of things that I LOVE to do:

1. Talk to my best friend, also known as Big Red.

2. Laugh with my kids.

3. Pour out the Word and the love of Christ all over lots of precious women when I speak.

4. Create a huge pile of dirty dishes in my kitchen whipping up something yummy.

5. Drink coffee with a girlfriend.

6. Squeeze  a few pennies out of a dollar with a good bargain.

7. Take pictures of anything that isn’t moving too fast and make a scrapbook.

And many, many more.

When I glorify God in those things, any and all of them become my purpose.

So that’s what I write about.

Along the way, I hope that you laugh and think and pray and cook and maybe feel a bit more grateful to the Lord for the great things He’s done.

Then we’ve walked together with purpose.



Friday, July 9, 2010

Frugal Fashionista: The Skirt Edition

One of my blogging heroines is Jen over at Beauty and Bedlam.  She’s my go-to gal for all things thrifty, and all I needed to know about frugal fashion I learned from her.

Today she’s hosting a linky featuring frugal fashion finds.

This summer, I’ve refreshed my skirt choices with bargains from local thrift and consignment.

My new mantra: NEVER pay retail!

I had planned to model these outfits for maximum impact, but time and bad hair prevented this.  Use your imaginations, dear friends; these photos do not do these clothes justice.

First up, a linen skirt with gorgeous detailing on the bottom.   A simple brown peasant shirt looks great with it.



Ensemble #2 has fringe, beading, and shells woven into the border.  (It is also un-ironed in this pic—sorry!)




Both of these skirts are great examples of why size doesn’t mean much in women’s clothing.  The top linen skirt was a size 4, which normally would not go above my kneecaps.  The second skirt was a size 16, which would normally fall down around my kneecaps.  I loved the details, so I risked trying them both on and scored.  Price for each: around $8.

The next skirt is my all-time best score.


I can’t describe how yummy, heavy, and beautifully draping this lined linen skirt is.  I found it at a consignment shop for $ 9.

It’s from Isabella Bird for Territory Ahead.

Retail cost: $139!

Savings of $130. Score!

Unfortunately, I haven’t convinced my teen to buy anything but jeans from thrift, but I’m sold.   A little detergent, a little Lysol (for shoes), and it’s all good.

Very good for the wallet!

Hop over to Jen’s and be inspired!



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Color Me Red, White, and Blue

The 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays, has passed, which means summer is about half over for us.

{Boo! Hiss! say the students…and teachers…in this house.}

We are determined to make the most of time.

Finishing projects.

Actively being lazy.

Laughing and playing.


This week we went to visit family in Asheville, NC. I love that city! It’s delightfully weird.

While we were there, we admired my sister’s flower pots,


did lots of interesting window-shopping downtown,


DSC03089 sweated roasted picnicked and waited for fireworks on the church lawn after great worship and preaching


all to be rewarded later with this:


This picture is my entry for this week’s photo challenge over at Simplicity. The theme: color!

Think it works? :)

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Watermelon Cookies

Hi, all.

Hope your 4th was grand!  We spent some time with family and had a blast; pictures to come!

My kids are accomplished cooks, and they have kept us supplied with yummy sweets and savories this summer.  Last week, they made these adorable and delicious watermelon cookies. 


These are somewhat labor-intensive, and if your mother isn’t home when you make them, you might get a little stressed.


With a bit of encouragement, you’ll have a fun, summery twist on the basic sugar cookie.


Prepare these, and you will stun and amaze your friends!

Way to go, DD#1 and DD#2!!

Y’all Rock!

Here’s the recipe; it’s from Taste of Home and is probably available in clearer form on their website.


Be blessed!


Linking up at Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table


Friday, July 2, 2010

The Red, White, and Blue


(photo from bigfoto)

Happy Independence Day!

Psalm 33:12 (New International Version)

 Blessed is the nation whose

God is the LORD,

      the people He chose for His


Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Be blessed!