Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas visit to Jax


 me and my girls :)

my kiddos

 Matching cousins

 Hannah and Andrew at the Rattlesnake Saloon

Garrett licking the ice cream tub lid :)


 Our family

 Kelsey and SarahBeth chatting :)

Jaiden with his mud beard

Thursday, October 25, 2012


don't feel like posting, but i guess i need to put something out.

i tried to get some pictures to upload but apple products are failing me tonight and thus no pictures.

Hannah is growing up so fast. she is learning more and more in school.  i hope i can teach her to read soon.

Andrew fell down in the church parking lot yesterday and busted out his front tooth pretty bad.  cut up his gums, lips, and inside of his mouth in general.  the whole baby tooth plus the roots and everything came out.  very interesting trip to the er and my first one since being her in nky.

Micah is extra mischievous.  he is getting into so much in the blink of an eye.  literally.  from toilets, to toothpaste, to daddy's shaving cream, scissors, pens and pencils, drinks, candy, to climbing.  he is a handful and a half.

SarahBeth is growing like crazy.  don't know what she weighs now but something big i know it.  she is in 6-9 month clothes already, sleeping through the night, and very alert.  she loves to smile and talk to anyone who will listen.

most of the time i feel like i am handling all four kiddos well, but every mom has her day.  next week i hit the big 3.0.  it doesn't bother me like i thought it might.  the kids are very excited counting down until mommy's birthday.

Josh is still working for american express and pastoring at Willow.  it is always an interesting balance for a life of a bi-vocation pastor and his family.  i know the Lord is watching over our family and knows what we need.

in other news, so thankful we didn't have to pay our evil mortgage company this month. yay. seriously awesome.  they didn't deserve another cent.  and since i don't have anything else nice to say about that i won't say anything more at all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Organizing Your Kitchen

I LOVE a good organized and efficient kitchen!  Whether your kitchen is big or small I hope these tips will help you keep your life running smoothly.

Wall Pockets:
I love Ikea!  :)  I purchased these Ikea Wall Pockets for $3.99!  They cam in two colors.  Originally they were going to be for small toy storage on the back of my kid's bedroom doors.  But my children got the best of my storage ideas and now I use them on the back of my kitchen door (leading to the garage/basement).  I keep small snacks like peanut butter crackers, marshmallows, hard candy, gummies, and even the charger to my Swiffer Sweeper vac.  This is a great way to store snacks.  They are easy to see, and by storing them here, I can save valuable cabinet space for other items.

Small baskets for food storage. 
I use these small baskets (found at Dollar General) to store my muffin mixes, cookie mixes, etc.  This bin is stashed in my round about corner cabinet and it keeps the small packets from just sliding around everywhere or getting lost or separated.

Inside cupboard doors attach cork board for small notes, recipes, or things you need to keep close.  Since I usually stand at this part of the counter to address a letter, I keep my postage stamps tacked up inside, as well as receipts I need to save or submit, and random information.  As you can tell it looks a little cluttered.  I probably need to sort through some of that paper.  :)

Clutter / Bills:

I have already mentioned in a previous post I love ThirtyOne!! This is another great way to use one of their products.  Their All-in-One Organizer is awesome.  It has side pockets for small note pads, pens, scissors etc.  The width of the organizer is exactly the length of a file folder minus about 1 cm.  (just trim it off and go!)  I keep files for all my stuff so there are NO piles of paperwork on my kitchen counter.  I cannot stand paper clutter.
Here are some helper hints for file categories:

  • Bills
  • Paid Bills
  • Insurance
  • Coupons
  • Misc Papers to Save
  • (Insert Husband's name) Work
  • File folder for each family member
  • Kids art work (I save for a short while until I can take a picture of it then it is disposed of)
  • Miscellaneous

Junk Drawer:

Don't let this extra drawer take over itself.  Mine stays neat and tidy with two utensil holders.  The extra space around the edges is for a few extra things that don't fit as neatly into the slots.
I have slots for:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Flashlights
  • Clothes Pins
  • Nail File
  • Screw Drivers
  • Matches / Lighter

Command Center:
We all need a go to place.  I have seriously tried the digital calendar thing, but I just LOVE these giant wall calendars.  Everything is at a glance and is so handy.  :)  You can purchase them at Staples or another office store, but I have been getting mine in the Target DOLLAR SPOT every year now for the past three years.  Love it!!  I purchased the magnetic strip (to the right) from Ikea. (these strips are great!)  They are under $10 and you can mount them anywhere and store anything magnetic on them.  I have the circle magnetic organizer holder (also from Ikea!) with push pins and chalk (for my chalkboard on the other side of my kitchen door).  I also have a magnetic cup holder for pens and pencils to write on the calendar with.  At the bottom I have a magnetic clip to hod any random paper I may need right there.  I also had a note pad hanging there for awhile too.  :)

Any other ideas and tips for keeping your kitchen and command center more organized and efficient?

Organizing Tips

Organize your hall closet / bathroom closet with shoebox bins.  Label each bin to be able to locate everything easily.  (these are about half of the bins I have, the medicine ones are on higher shelves out of little arms reach)

Bin categories are:

  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Q-tips & Cotton balls
  • Heating pack
  • Dental Supplies
  • Hair products
  • Travel Size Items
  • Baby Toiletries
  • Children's Toiletries
  • Batteries
  • Vitamins
  • Paid Medicines
  • Creams & Ointments
  • Cold Medicines
  • Light Bulbs
  • Tools (small basic ones for easy access)
  • Extra Candles

Jewelry Storage:

This wasn't the original idea I had for jewelry storage, but this idea is working great for me right now.  I repurposed an old cork board and covered in with a piece of fabric (this happens to be part of a table cloth!) that matched my room decor.  I added brown ribbon to edge it out.  I inserted push pins where needed to arrange my jewelry at various heights so it would not get tangled with each other.  You could also do a mini one for bracelet storage too.


I could give you lots of examples of what I really would want our entrance way/mud room to look like. BUT where we are in the house we are in we do not have a mud room, we have a small space by the front door.  I lined the wall space with a long row of hooks (as many fit!) and we hang coats, jackets, purses, diaper bags, etc on the hooks.  This Ikea storage bin sits below.  It is sturdy enough to sit on, but you can also use it for a flat storage of something fast as you come in the door.  In the bins we keep my boys shoes.  (For right now the white bin in the middle also houses the Mega Blocks, but that is a different story!)  Once winter comes I will swap out bins and have that middle space for hats, scarves, and gloves.

Laundry help: (maybe!)  got (single) socks?
Yep!  I do!  More than half of my socks have divorced each other.  It's crazy.  If I am really desperate, I wear mismatched socks.  It is really that bad!
So here is my storage solution for holding said deserted socks until their mate has been restored.

 I LOVE ThirtyOne.  I'm linking my friend's site just because.  But if you have a friend who sells it you can go to them for advise!  But I love this Littles Carry All!  It can be used for many things.  I had "got socks?" embroidered on here and keep this in my hall closet.  Any socks that have lost their mate go into this bin until the matching mate is found, or I decide to pitch it.  But I love this storage caddy for extra socks.  :)  Wonderful!

Any great tips you want to share with me? 

Organizing Your Kids Rooms

So I try to keep my kids room's organized.  I really do.  But most of the time I end up wondering why I spend so much time cleaning and organizing when it gets messed up in minutes!

But here are some of my favorite tips that have worked in keeping my kids clothes, accessories, and toys organized.

First up is the closet in my boy's room.  My boys get into EVERYTHING all the time! I didn't want a dresser in their room that could possibly be emptied in minutes and disaster in the clothing organizing area.  So I opted for this:

I put a small, three shelf bookcase in my boys closet.  (You could do a taller one, but I wanted to keep the clothes rod in the top to hang their dress shirts.)  I purchased the bookshelf and storage cubes at Target.  These storage cubes are awesome.  They are a great way to hide storage on bookshelves in any part of the house!!  There are also mini cubes which I put on the top of the shelf for socks and underwear.  The only way I could improve on this (for me) would be to label the drawers so my family would remember whose clothes are on what shelf.  Sadly for me my kids like to remove said labels, stickers, etc and so my labels have no chance on my kids stuff.  :)

My second tip would be to maximize storage space in your child's closet.  Take advantage of this especially while your kids are younger and the clothing is smaller.  Purchase a closet rod extender.  These things are great!  Here I have my newborn daughter's clothes on top and my 5 year old daughter's dresses on the bottom.  The closet rod is adjustable so you can make the bottom rod as tall or as short as you need.  This is also a great tip in other closets where you are hanging shirts.  You can double your closet space!

This tip is SO fun because I love being crafty and making things.  I painted a old picture frame, stapled ribbon from top to bottom and hung this up in my daughters' room for bow storage.  I also screwed some mug hooks into the bottom side to hold headbands.  As an added bonus it doubles as art!  You can get so creative with this piece to match any decoration or style you have.  (as you can see I even have two!)

Toy storage tips:
Once again I am using a white, three shelf bookshelf from Target.  I love that store!  The Closet Maid cubes are also from Target.  They have so many colors to choose from!  My daughter has the bottom bins for shoes, one for barbies, one for play food, one for misc, etc.  I also attached a small 4 count set of hooks into the side of the shelf for her to hang up her necklaces, headbands, or Rapunzel hair. (as pictured here) :)

Other storage tips I could give are the under the bed storage bins!  I keep extra winter blankets, toys, craft supplies, shoes, and clothes to grow into in the bins.  It is a great way to use extra space.

Also, utilized the back of the closet door or bedroom door.  In my boys room I have high hooks, so I can hang back packs or other things out of reach.  In my daughter's room I have multiple hooks of various lengths so she can hang purses, coats, and bags.

Hopefully some of these tips helped you out, and please don't get discouraged organizing your child's room! :)

Sunday, October 07, 2012

September Recap in Pictures

Playing outside...

SarahBeth turned one month old.  She did NOT enjoy the photo session Mommy attempted!

We are doing school every week. Hannah Kindergarten, Andrew Pre-K (but almost all that Hannah does) and Micah tagging along for the ride!  (and hopefully SB napping) :)

Playing with the Saxon Math manipulatives

Micah getting in on the action too.

SB in her cutie green dot coat! :)

Andrew got glasses!! Super cute :)

was born! :) can't wait to meet her!!!

SB in her cutie shoe shirt from her Aunts and Uncles on the Tillman side.

Hannah being a great big sister.

First recorded smiles all for MOMMY! :)

Matching sisters!  This was taken on the day we SOLD and CLOSED on our house in Louisville.  Still hard to believe that is true!

CHUNKY cheeks

Micah "reading" the card from Grandma :)

We found the elementary school in Brooksville allows kids to come play on the playground after school hours.  This has been a fun place for the kids and I to go.  It is close and is enclosed well so I don't have to worry about Micah running off.

SB sleeping with her cute kitty hiney in the air. :)

Friends at our church Krista and Sam were married on Sept 1 (Josh did the wedding)
Micah got to ride the horse at the reception (all kids did, but I didn't get a picture)

Sam and Krista

Hannah got her first library card!! She is SO excited.

Almost smiles for Mommy


This is it for now!  No birth story to post yet.  And our lives are pretty crazy (and the boys full of mischief!)  I hope to update again soon. :)


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