Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Back to School Prayer for all the Mommas




This is for you, Momma, who is sending her baby off to school for the very first time and your heart feels like it's going to break.

This is for you Momma, who works full time but now has to juggle your children's school and sports schedule in addition to your already heavy load.

This is for you Momma, who is a full time homemaker and is sending all of her children off to school and hears the empty bedrooms ringing in her ears.

This is for you Homeschool Momma who feels the weight of educating your children and somehow keeping up with your home.

This is for you Momma who is sending her "baby" into his Senior Year of High School and you wonder if it's really possible that time has gone by so quickly.

This is for all the Brave Mommas, no matter what arena you choose to educate your children in.

May we commit all that we do to the Lord.

May we choose to trust Him in our crazy, insane, sometimes impossible schedules.

May we choose to be still in His presence so that we can hear Him above the roar of life and then wait patiently for Him to act.

May we remember that God takes notice of every detail of our life and that when we stumble, we will not fall because the LORD holds our hand.

Here's to a beautiful and successful school year!

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our New Vintage School Area {The Big Reveal!} PLUS a Chance to Win a $500 Paypal Gift Card!



What you are about to see, my friends, is the fruits of my labor from this past summer. If you're a regular reader on here, you probably know two things: 1) We tried to sell our house, but in the end decided it was wise to stay where we are and 2) I haven't been blogging much this summer.
 
I had to take a break from blogging because I needed every spare minute to sell off any and all possessions that wouldn't fit comfortably in our home or that weren't serving a purpose anymore.

This allowed us to have space to breathe and feel peace in our home These were both severely lacking due to all of the stuff that was cluttering up our home.
 
After the huge purge and redecorating, I cannot tell you HOW HAPPY I am with the end result. It took a lot of work, but I am thrilled with how it all came together. I cringe to think back to the way our living room used to look.

Keep in mind, I am not gifted in the area of decorating.  Truly, I'm not. However, the Lord put within my heart a vision for what I wanted to see come together and He faithfully provided just what we needed, mostly through great second-hand finds.

Our budget could not sustain a redo like this, but thank the Lord, my awesome local buy, sell, trade Facebook group has allowed me to sell what we don't need, in order to purchase what we do need. Every item that was purchased for our school area was bought with cash from money I made selling this summer.

Thanks for taking a minute to see how it all came together!
 
Our New Cubby 


This little space makes my Momma heart smile and give a sigh all in one. Mostly because it allowed me to accomplish a burden that was on my heart. I wanted to create an environment that was an open invitation to learn, but I wanted it to stay peaceful and organized. This cubby is a little wonderland for both of those goals.

I cannot believe the educational goodies I found for incredible prices at garage sales this summer. Many of them are stored right in this area and the kids love them!

Because of this cubby, this is what happens on a regular basis around here now:

 
Having easy access to games and puzzles allows our children the chance to develop their minds and learning takes place without my prompting. Needless to say, I just love this little area that reflects a vintage feel, all while keeping educational tools easy to access but still organized.
 
And, the fact that I can keep fun things like microscopes and slides within easy reach now, rather than in the back of the closet, makes me smile when I see this:
 
 
 (Our oldest looking at an onion skin which "Looks like fish scales!")
 
 
A few more details about the cubby....The clock was snagged from our bedroom and I loved the vintage/classroom feel that it brought to the area.
 
The map bunting was made from an awesome find at a new store I fell upon while on a date with one of our kids. It's called the Paper Source and I could spend HOURS in there (and spend lots if I'm not careful!). I purchased a Vintage Maps Gift Set which just sets my heart racing thinking of all the possibilities with this splendid little set. It came with thin paper gift bags, so I simply cut them into bunting sizes (I got two buntings per bag), strung them with twine and used two pins to secure them to the wall.
 
It is exactly what I envisioned and makes my heart happy every time I look at it.

The kids and I were die hards this year when it came to scouring garage sales all morning long every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and oh, how the Lord provided!
 
Towards the beginning of the summer, I found this awesome glass storage jar with a secure lid that I keep on the left top shelf of the cubby. I use it for the kiddos crayons (sure beats the old baby wipes container they used to reside in!) and love the look of it!

I am a huge fan of Mason jars of all shapes and sizes and decided to use this Mason pitcher pictured on the right to store the Melissa and Doug wooden blocks.

The camera happened to be a freebie!
 
The cubby itself was formerly pink and was exactly what I was looking for when I discovered it on a buy/sell/trade Facebook group. Buying it used and painting it with DIY Chalkboard Paint I already had, saved me money and guaranteed it was a perfect match to the kids' table, which I'll get to in a minute.

THE MAP
 
What can give a room a vintage, classroom feel more than a world map? Not much, but one that is framed with some molding gives it a more crisp look making it perfect "art" for our living room setting.
 
This project was fairly easy (especially considering my husband put up the molding for me!) I bought the molding at Home Depot, spray painted it (my new found redecorating bomb) and hung it around the map. No glass covering. Simply a wall map with molding. Perfect in my book!



 
 
Even with paring down on so many things, there are still just some things that are nice to have when you have children. So, I purchased this great storage bench to the right of the couch. (pictured below) I use it for dress up clothes and it duals as extra seating since the couch is the only place to sit. Which, BY THE WAY, I LOVE MY NEW COUCH! It is our first piece of brand new furniture in our 10+ years of marriage and I was able to purchase it by selling off what we didn't need on the Facebook group I mentioned. It is smaller than the one we had which gives us a little more space and the colors go much better now, too!
 
 
 
I love the basket next to the couch. Guess where I found it? Yep, a garage sale. Guess how I updated it? Yep, spray paint. I love having a space to confine the baby's toys, yet have them easy access on his cute, little, pint-sized level. The basket was exactly what I had envisioned, except it was the wrong color, so I simply spray painted it (along with all of the other baskets in my living room to give them a unified look).
 
 
 
This next corner of the living room was a labor of love. I found the insect poster at a garage sale for pennies and love that it added learning to the room (in the right color scheme amiright?).  The globe was from my days gone by as a classroom teacher, the passports are my husband's and mine and go great with our new curriculum, Exploring Countries and Cultures from My Father's World. The old school books were given to me years ago by my husband's aunt and I believe one of them belonged to my husband's grandpa. Everything is resting on a filing cabinet that used to be black and stored in the garage. Now it is spray painted brown (shocker) and holds all my theme files for teaching.
 
And the best garage sale find of all was this table! We used to use individual desks for school, but I decided it would save a lot of space if we switched to a table and chairs. I found this one (which was even better than I had imagined) at a garage sale for only $25. It was transformed into this with DIY chalk paint. I LOVE it.
 
 
I am so grateful for the Lord's provision and help in making this living room an area where our children can learn. It is going to be a great school year! And, drum roll, please....
 
 
In celebration of back to school, I'm participating in the Bless a Homeschooler event where any homeschool family can enter for a chance to win a $500 Paypal gift card. Woot! Simply enter the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win. (Make sure you have a Paypal account before you enter in case you win!)
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Forsaking the Idolatry of Man-Centered Wisdom



I don't know about you, but there are times that I will read a Bible verse that I have heard a thousand times before and suddenly, my eyes are opened to the truth, and I "get" it.

That was me in this morning.

And when a verse finally clicks, I want to tell everyone about it because it's suddenly my new favorite verse that is just so awesome.

Well, YOU are my everyone.

So here goes. It's a super duper commonly quoted verse friends. But today? I get it.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."



You're reading it here in the King James Version because, not only have a I heard these verses a thousand times, I also memorized them as a child.

Decisions, Decision, Decisions


For me, whenever I have a big decision to make, I pray about it, seek the trusted advice of others, think about it, way out the pros and cons, analyze it, etc.

And I completely understand and agree that whenever we are making big decisions in life, we need to use wisdom, and sometimes experience, to help us make the right decision.

However, there are times in life when you just know that God is nudging you closer and closer towards a "yes" decision, and yet, the facts on paper might be pointing towards a "no" decision.

Oftentimes, finances, logistics, energy levels, health, and so much more cause us to lose sight of the faith factor and make us live life in the safe zone of our decisions and just say no.

But what about when God says "yes"?

That's why this verse suddenly makes so much sense to me because, in the midst of all that decision making, we can't forget that ultimately, we need to lean on the wisdom of God and forsake our own understanding (i.e. the practical reasons why we shouldn't trust God.)

But, what, my friends, are we missing when we live like this? A crazy lot I'm guessing.

Today, I want to give a boot to my own understanding and say yes to God.

I want to trust Him with all my heart and walk by faith.

I want to I want to acknowledge Him in every decision that I make and I want to trust Him to direct my paths.

He is trustworthy and I only have one life. I want to live it to the fullest by pursuing all God has planned for me.

Care to join me?

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Oral Immunotherapy Success Update: He ate a peanut!

After 3 months of weekly doctor's visits for updosing and twice daily dosing at home, our 4 year old son finally ate his first peanut today. I am SO proud of him!

He has done fantastic through this process. We are so thankful to the Lord for His help and for leading us to a great doctor who can help our son become desensitized to peanuts (and eventually his other tree nut allergies as well).

It was such a beautiful day today watching our son pop that peanut in his mouth without any fear or anxiety. He even thought it tasted good! ;)

We have a long ways to go before he graduates from OIT, but he has come so far. To think that the child who couldn't even be at the same table with peanuts has now eaten one is such a milestone.

That very first day at OIT he started off at 1.025 micrograms of peanut protein. Today he ate 205 milligrams.

This week our dosing takes on a different look! We bought a scale that measures milligrams so each dose will be accurate and dosing will be with peanuts now since we have moved past peanut flour.

Here are some pictures of our day. Thank you for your prayers.

 
Before dosing, he always gets his heart rate checked.


 
And then he gets his blood pressure and temperature taken


 
His very first peanut!
(I have to say "Thank you, Lord!" I'm in complete amazement about this!)
 
 
 
He has never seen a real peanut before today. He wanted to see what they look like before he ate one. :)
 
 
Eating it without care in the world!
 
 
Chewing it up and tasting a real peanut for the first time.
 
 
He gave us the thumbs up for approval!
 
 

Caleb and his fabulous, caring Doctor. 



The kids occupying themselves for an hour while we wait to make sure Caleb tolerates the dose. (Which he did!) This is something we have to do each week.

Please keep in mind, he has worked his way up to a whole peanut in calculated doses. This is not something we would ever do at home and only under the care of an experienced physician with a fantastic history with previous patients. So thankful that the Lord led us to just such a doctor!


Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Our Strawberry Lemonade Party {Plus DIY Milk Bottles}

We had such a fun day celebrating our daughter's 7th birthday! It was so fun working with the strawberry lemonade theme and it was perfect for a hot summer day.
 
The party inspiration began when my daughter and I were shopping at Target one day. (Anyone else find it dangerous to shop at Target??) I spied this table cloth and chalkboard sign and she and I decided that would be a great theme for her birthday and so the planning began!
 
 
I'm so glad we were able to put this awesome little table to use for her party (more about that great find in our upcoming Vintage Classroom Big Reveal!). My sweet girl even made her own tablecloth for the table. She has become quite the sewer these days thanks to the help of our dear friend, Miss Leah.

 

Party favors were a no-brainer with lemon drops. We also had some lemonade colored nail polish too just because it's so fun! 


 

Pink lemonade frosting was a special treat for the birthday girl and I made the cupcakes in these super cute Wilton mini cupcake liners I got new in the package for .50 at a garage sale. (The cake stand was a garage sale find last year for $2 I think. I heart garage sales.).

 

My daughter and I were searching the internet for ideas for her party when I came across an idea for a skirt. Since she has been learning to sew skirts, we decided to switch it up a bit and this is what we came up with. She made this under the guidance of our dear friend and then Miss Leah surprised her with a matching outfit for her American Girl doll. I love, love, love it!!


My husband helped out by making his super awesome strawberry smoothie and it was amazing as usual. We served the smoothies in milk bottles that we made from Starbucks Frappuccino drinks. (Simply soak the bottles for a 1/2 hour in hot, soapy water to remove the labels and then run the bottles through the dishwasher to get the date stamp off. If there is any remaining date stamp afterwards, you can use a little nail polish remover to get the rest off.) It's much cheaper to get milk bottles this way than it is to buy them somewhere. Plus, someone gets to enjoy all of the Frappuccino before you use the bottles!

 
For dinner, we had a taco bar. To keep with the strawberry part of the theme, I used the containers we got from strawberry picking, lined them with wax paper and used them to serve the food in. Serving the food this way made it super easy.
 
I was able to get all of the strawberry containers lined ahead of time and then a little before the party, put the toppings in each one and stored all of them in the large strawberry box in the fridge. When it was time to serve the food, I simply pulled the whole box out of the fridge and it was ready to go!
 
 


 


All in all, this was a pretty easy party to plan. I loved the theme for my little girl and she did too.

For more Lemonade Birthday party inspiration, be sure to check out my Pinterest Board. You might find some other ideas there that you like!

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!
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