Sunday, December 10, 2017

~The Keeper Of Home Series:Homemaking, As an Artistic Process~

Today I want to talk about the artistic side of homemaking.  For me, keeping our home and running our family, is something I feel very blessed to do.  At times I am in awe at how much I get to create with this job.  I have always enjoyed the arts, and even though when my four children were little and my time was never in abundance, I could create by making meals, and keeping our home organized, decluttered, neat and tidy.  I also was able to create by coming up with systems, or ways of keeping our items that were customized to our needs at the time.  This is a dynamic process and we must be able to change our way of keeping a home as the years go by and our lives change.  Homemaking requires that we are able to wear many different hats, so to speak.  Homemakers come in all forms, and even if you have a job outside of your home, you are still a homemaker.  What I would like to suggest today, is that you let yourself get excited about creating a home that works for you and your family.  I have to say that everyone is on a different path in their journey of life, so don't beat yourself up if you don't have as much time as you would like right now, just do the best you can with what ever you have to work with right now.   Turning a house into a home just takes a little heart and a lot of cozy.  
If you feel like a robot when caring for your home, just make a game of it.  I like to learn to make different drinks that my family enjoys.  With this hat I am kind of like a barista, I make our family's iced tea, Chamomile tea, coffee, hot coco, Italian vanilla cream sodas and such.  Lauren loved Italian cream sodas, but they were very expensive to buy.  One day, I looked on line and found a recipe to make our own.  I tweaked it to her taste, and now she can have them a lot more often.  We need to not be afraid to create in our homes.  A long time ago, people had to be a lot more creative than they do in our times.  We live in a time when most things are pre-made and this not only cost a lot more money wise, but stifles our creative processes.
Christmas is almost here, and I truly think it is a sad thing that people feel they have to go into debt at Christmas time.  Christmas time is about Christ's birth and in my opinion, should not be made into a materialistic, how much can I get event.  Not that giving gifts is bad, I just think it should not be a time where family's go into debt. It should not be mandatory for attending a family Christmas celebration, this can cause unneeded stress on family's, and can rob them of quality family time and memories.  It breaks my heart that Christmas has become a time of materialism.   My side of the family has never exchanged gifts with all the cousins and such, and I truly think that is a blessing. Tasha Tudor said that the only gift to give should be a gift from the heart.  Time is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to one another.  When giving a material gift, it is nice for it to be well thought out for the person you are giving it to.  I don't like to just give some random thing that may just create clutter in someones home.  Consider learning to make items that people you know may like.  With Youtube and places like that, the information is in great abundance.  I learned to make these bath bombs on Youtube.  I will share the link in case anyone would like it.  There are two videos that I suggest you watch before making these.

I also suggest that you watch this third video on how to wrap them using Glad wrap.  I have shrink wrap, and was not too impressed with it, but I love the Glad wrap method.

Candles are a passion of mine, I love to burn them, and give them as gifts.  Consider learning to make something that you love and like to give to people already.  Like I said with Youtube and the internet, learning new skills is easier than ever.  I like to purchase my supplies from Amazon, and with prime membership you get free shipping.  Prime is something I add when I know I am going to need to purchase quite a few online items.  

My hopes is that the next time you feel burdened from having to keep your home, try to view it in a different light.  It can go from hum drum to an artistic, dynamic and creative process if you will just train yourself to view it a little differently.   I always remember my wonderful mother's advice to me when I moved out..."work as hard for your self as you would for any job you get a pay check for."  Very wise words and have truly helped to shape how I tend to the care of our home.  I hope you all are having a very blessed Christmas season, and are not letting it be a time of stress.  If it is, then change things up, and perhaps simplify your Christmas time,  whether it be with your plans, your gift giving, or just adding some little touches such as playing Christmas music from time to time.  Thank you for visiting my little space.  Hugs and Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

~A Peek Into Our Weekend~

Saturday evening we put up our Christmas tree.  Megan had a couple of friends over, and they helped us as well.  So, I had five children helping me put up all of the ornaments, it was just such a nice time.

I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas and enjoyed how lovely the tree looked.
My Christmas Mousekins found a home on top of the Hot Chocolate tin!
I lit Merry Marshmallow in our little Kitchen.
A few years ago, Tristyn and Kaylee gave me two Christmas candles from Bath and Body Works.  The one in this photo I only burn a couple of times each Christmas, as it is very special to my heart.  The other one I will wait to burn until this one is gone.  (Which should not be for quite a few years.)
On Sunday afternoon, our tree came crashing down.  I could not believe my eyes when it happened, and all I could think was I hope my special childhood ornaments survived.  Tears welled up in my eyes, but then I thought that I needed to not give into those tears.  Quickly a peace came to my heart, as I know my children are going to learn from how I react to this situation.  (I do not always have that prescience of mind, but this time I did.)  I told them in life things happen that are upsetting, and we can loose things special to us, and that is okay.  I believe that God sometimes allows hardships in our lives that can teach us wisdom as we walk through our journey. We have to count our blessing sometimes very quickly when something happens and remember to keep the big picture in mind. 
This is an ornament that my late Grandma Smith had purchased for me from her friend, Mrs. Jackson when I was a young girl.  I plan to super glue her together and each year when I hang it on my tree, it will serve as a reminder to not let life's little hardships bring me down, and rather to count my blessing.  I think this is going to be what I work on in 2018.  Life is such a journey, full of ups and downs, and hopefully as we go through life's journey, we will learn wisdom, instead of letting it turn us bitter and negative.  So, I have my new years resolution!  I told my husband, we can make due with our little tree, and we can decorate it with the pretty lights and our most special ornaments.    He wanted to go and look through some of his storage items from the apartments to see if there was another tree base that might work.  So off he went.  He came home with a new tree.  He had not found any items that would work, so he went to three different stores and found a tree on sale at Target for $90.99  Even though I felt bad that he spent the money, I was very happy that I would have a nice tree this Christmas, and that I have a husband who loves me so much, he wanted to make me happy.  
Here is our new tree.  It took a lot of time to open each of the branch's but I think it turned out pretty nice.  We put my other tree skirt around it, and even put some tinsel garland ,I had in a bin, on it.   The children helped to decorate the new tree, and it turned out to be a nice time.
I hope you all are having a good Christmas season so far.  Just remember if something goes wrong try not to let it get you down.  I for one have seen many little blessings come from this little mishap.  Thank you for stopping by my little space.  I hope you have a good week.  Hugs, Juli

Friday, December 1, 2017

~My Christmas Bucket List~

I can't believe it is already December!  With Christmas just around the corner, I have created a Christmas bucket list in my Christmas Planner.  It is my hope to keep Christmas simple and full of Christ's love.  I thought I would share my Christmas bucket list today.

*Family Christmas tree decorating.  
*Send Christmas Cards
*Drive around town, listen to Christmas music and look at the Christmas lights.
*Have a family Christmas movie night. (Or two)
*Make Candles and other Christmas gifts.
*Make Christmas candy.
*On the 24th read from the Bible and have a family prayer.
*Celebrate Christmas Day with a nice meal.

There it is, my simple Christmas bucket list for 2017.  I am so very excited to put our tree up this weekend and decorate out front.  I love Christmas so very much, it is my favorite Holiday!  Have a cozy weekend.  Thank you for coming to visit my little space.  Hugs to you.  Juli

Monday, November 27, 2017

~Lauren Turns Sweet 16 Today~

Today my Lauren turns Sweet 16 !!!  We celebrated her  birthday this last weekend.
Her grandpa and grandma came up to help us celebrate.  Lauren is very close to them.
We sang Happy Birthday to her.
Then she blew out her candles in one breath...she said well, I am a trumpet player!

Justin made her some special gifts.  He even made her one on the computer, he said it took him a couple of hours to make.  It is a picture of Tristyn, Justin, Daddy, Mommy, Lauren and Megan and even Hope the little stray kitty we take care of.
Justin added a lot of candy stickers to Lauren's card, so it was a bit of a challenge to open.
Here is Lauren with her keys!
Next she finally got to check out her new car!!!  You better believe her dimples were out.  LOL
Here is Lauren with her car!!!  She was so excited to get in it and take it for a spin!!!
Lauren is truly the kindest person I have ever met.  She always thinks of others before herself, and makes such good choices in her life.  She works very hard with her school work and makes straight A's, and almost straight A+    I truly feel honored to be her mother, and even though she is my child, I can honestly say that I look up to her.  Happy birthday to my sweet little Lauren.  

Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing in Lauren's birthday.  Hugs to you all and have a blessed and cozy week.  Juli

Thursday, November 23, 2017

~Happy Thanksgiving~

Happy Thanksgiving.  Today is a day that I am counting my blessings!   Life has its ups and downs for us all, but having a thankful heart and keeping our focus on our blessings can give us a happy life.  Thank you for stopping by my little space.  Hugs, Juli

Monday, November 20, 2017

~A Peek Into Our Week~

My dear friend Lisa came over the other day for a visit.  She moved to Florida, so it was such a blessing to see her.  She is my son Justin's God mother, and has been such an amazing friend to me.  She is such a special person and is just dear to my heart.
I have a tiny tree up in my guest room.  I'm still waiting to put my big one up.  I have been listening to Christmas music and am very ready to decorate for Christmas this year!!!
Here is Megan all snugly in her new PJ's.
I have a special planner that I am using to organize all of our Christmas plans.  I keep things such as our menu, gift list, movies to watch and things to do inside.  
Today is my sweet little niece Lilah's 3rd birthday.  She is such an amazing little girl, and I love being her aunt!  
Here is my dream stove. I need anything else that is aqua in my home.  The children are home this week for Thanksgiving break, and it is nice to spend some quiet family time together.  Lauren will be turning 16 soon and we are getting excited to celebrate her 16th birthday.  

I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving.  Thank you for stopping by my little space.  Hugs.  Juli

Monday, November 13, 2017

~A Peek Into Our Weeks~

Lauren was in her school's play this last weekend.  All the children did such a nice job.  Lauren was a dancer, and she did awesome!  The children worked a lot of hours practicing and I am just so proud of them all!
Lauren's dear friend Britney came to watch the play.  Britney is now attending a different school than Lauren.
Here is Megan with two of her good friends the day after Halloween.  Notice Megan is wearing PJ's, my girls have been going to the donut shop in PJ's since they were just little.
The tree in our front yard has changed to it's pretty fall colors.
I really love the view through our living room window.  Makes me want a cup of coffee.
Here is Justin practicing his bells the other day.
Here is my little darling niece Lilah making Halloween cookies with her wonderful Mommy!
I made a cherry pie!

I tidied up my fridge before I had to go to the store.  There was one slice of pizza in that box, so I put it in a little sandwich baggie.

Megan and I got her room back in order after her sleep over, it took a little while.  LOL
As always I am working on laundry, but I like my little laundry room so that truly makes it a nicer job to do.
Here is a photo of my great niece Reese.  She is soooooo cute!!!  I can't wait to kiss her little fat cheeks at Christmas time.
Here are some apples drying after I washed them.  I always let them totally dry before I put them into my fruit bowl.
Life has almost been too busy the last couple of weeks for my taste.  I am hoping that we can have some down time for a bit.  We are staying home for Thanksgiving, so I will be making a turkey.  We are getting ready to celebrate Lauren's 16th birthday.  She only turns sweet 16 once, so we are pretty excited.  I have to wait and put my Christmas tree up after her birthday, per her request.  If it were up to would already be up!!!  Thanks for stopping by my little space.  Have a good week.  Hugs.  Juli