Goodbye for Now

December 17, 2009

I know I said I would blog again after Christmas, but this break has helped me realize that I need to say good-bye to Charity Grace for now.  I really love blogging and I know I will miss it, but at this point there is no way to fit it in.  I’m cleaning out my bloglines and limiting facebook also.  We are all well, but with sevearal littles, my children need my time right now.  I may be back one day!

Taking a Break

December 3, 2009

Taking a blog break till after Christmas.  As much as I love blogging, Charity Grace is just not fitting into my schedule right now.  Check back after the new year!  Have a wonderful Christmas!

Coming Up for Air

November 19, 2009

~::my home management binder, which is pretty to look at but doesn’t seem to be doing much for me these days!::~

Just popping in on this busy busy day, during a busy busy week.  I’m struggling to juggle my many responsibilities as a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and friend.  Feeling pressured, pushed, hurried from morning till night.  I wonder…Is it just this season of life, or am I disorganized?  I don’t think I overcommit myself.  Blogging and blog reading are a guilty pleasure, done on the fly or in tiny snatches of time when I’m snuggling the littlest one or eating a snack.  I wonder how other people do it who seem so productive.  It’s hard for me to even find minutes to upload photos to send grandparents.  I dream of writing letters and doing extra “fun” school projects, but most days I feel happy to complete our basic curriculum.  Trying not to compare myself to others.

Normally I’m not so personal here, but I figured I’d throw out the reasons blogging is so sporadic–as if I owe anyone an explanation.  Don’t get my wrong, this isn’t a complaint.  I LOVE my life and wouldn’t change it.  Each responsibility is because of some great joy, like having a wonderful husband or each of my sweet children.  It would just be nice to have a few more hours in each day to do all that needs to be done, like cleaning or laundry! :)

So tell me…What are your favorite organizing tips?  How do you make the most of your hours?

Tablescape Thursday

November 12, 2009

tablescape3

Well, I wasn’t going to post any more tonight, but I realized I had just uploaded some pictures that would be great for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

I made this very simple centerpiece from things I had in the house.  Jar candle from the dollar store.  An old silver plate I got…somewhere…linen napkins a neighbor passed on…place mat I bought cheap for a lady’s lunch years ago.  I just tied a fabric scrap and a ribbon around the candle.

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I used my wedding china (which I have foolishly kept put away, in case it got broken…silly!), linen napkins I bought at a craft fair, and a clear goblet.

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The kids got to use their Beatrix Potter mugs.

Sorry for the very dark pictures!  Better ones next time, I hope!

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Here’s one last shot of another little tablescape.  It’s my entry table (actually a treadle sewing machine cabinet).  Regular readers will recognize this from my previous post. :)

Autumn Decorating

November 12, 2009

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Yes, I realize winter and Christmas are only weeks away.  I’m late to the autumn decorating party.

For that matter, I’m late to the decorating party, period.  I’ve been married almost 10 years and as I wrote before, I’ve never really decorated.  Not that I haven’t wanted to.  It just seemed…overwhelming.  Scary.  And more important things (such as giving birth to several children in rapid succession) kept getting in the way.

I had a bit of unexpected time to myself, so I figured I’d bite the bullet and use that time to foray into decorating.  After spending a lot of time poking around, looking for inspiration, I cobbled together a combination  of original art, new, and vintage items.  Here’s just a bit of it.

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My rule for phase 1 was that I had to only use things in my house.  No buying anything new yet.  The pumpkins are from the dollar store, a couple dollars each.  The cross was a gift.  The box came from Christmas clearance at Hobby Lobby last year for about 30 cents.  The books are a couple from my old-book collection.  The ribbon and place mat were tucked away in drawers.  I made this little display on top of the treadle sewing machine cabinet, which I use as a table in my entry.

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Candle on a saucer from my wedding china.  I’m so glad I chose simple cream.  It’s timeless and goes with everything.  A bouquet of old silver spoons in footed milk glass that my mother-in-law gave me.  The little urn was too deep for the spoons, so I stuffed the bottom with paper towels.  No one’s the wiser.

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Jar candle from the dollar store.  An old silver plate I got…somewhere…linen napkins a neighbor passed on…place mat matches the one in the pumpkin arrangement.  I bought them cheap for a lady’s lunch years ago.  I just tied a fabric scrap and a ribbon around the candle.

Sorry for all the dark pics.  Without fail, every time I decide to take blog pictures it turns out to be a cloudy day.

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This is just a gratuitous china cabinet shot.  I really love my china cabinet which we got cheap from friends in the furniture business.  (Yes, that is a Christmas tree you see in the background.  Billy and the kids voted me down and decided it was time to put it up.  Billy promises that since we put it up early we can take it down in January this year.  That tells you how long he likes to keep it up. :) )

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More than that, I love what is in my china cabinet.  My 5 place settings of wedding china (sadly, discontinued)…Tea pots and cups…cream soup tureen…cake plates…this and that…all pretty.  I’ve thought about changing the look by hanging something against the back mirrors, something that could easily be removed.  I don’t know though.  The mirrors do reflect a lot of light and I love me some light!  What do you think?

Happy Veteran’s Day!

November 12, 2009

american flag

Happy Veteran’s Day.  Thanks to all who have served, from the bottom of my heart.

Feeling Inspired

November 9, 2009

man woman window

I love homemaking, but decorating has always frustrated me.  My mom always decorated all the bedrooms when I was at home (including mine), so I never had decorating experience during that time.  When Billy and I got married, I learned that we had dramatically different styles.  He’s Southern Living; I’m shabby vintage cottage.  Some women feel that home decor is strictly their business and some men don’t care what their wives do with the house.  As far as I am concerned, my husband lives here too and I want our home to be something he enjoys, especially because he does have specific preferences.  However, I’ve never been able to figure out how to combine both our tastes to come up with something we are both comfortable with.  To be honest, I have really felt at a loss as to how to decorate even close to “his way” because it feels so foreign.  Result: for 10 years I really have not decorated much at all.

This weekend we went to the mall (once in a blue moon thing for us) and visited a couple of home goods stores that specialize in more ornate styles (ornate being a relative term–remember, I grew up on rustic country).  I also took some time to peruse some beautiful home blogs that have an elegant feel.  I finally decided that I’m just going to take the plunge and start decorating, even though I know it will be hit and miss until I figure it out.   My goal is something like Southern Living traditional with a cottage twist.

For the next few days I’ve challenged myself to begin.  The rules for this stage are simply that I have to use things I already own.  I’m also beginning with a fairly neutral palette of taupes, creams, blacks, and whites with the goal of adding accents of color once I get the basics established.  So far I’m cautiously having fun.  I hope to post a few pictures soon and get input from some of you on whether I’m hitting the mark or not.

I Miss Blogging

November 6, 2009

Just popping in to say…I have really  missed blogging over the past couple weeks…And blogging substantially over the last months…Hope to have my act together again soon!

Autumn Sweets

October 29, 2009

girl making cookies

This time of year calls for baking, and all kinds of other sweets.  In a house where we have food allergies (dairy, corn–including and especially corn syrup), and where I’ve noticed that sugar makes us sick when consumed in quantity…Well, the sweets thing can be a challenge.  Because I LOVE me some dessert!

So…I’m planning to compromise a bit.  I’ll enjoy sweets during this season, just not too many.  When I have the urge to bake, I’ll make something over the weekend (the only days I really have time for extra cooking anyway) and share it with a Sunday school class on Sunday.  My kids are welcome to candy they’re given, but just a few of their favorites.  I guess I’m a bit of a mean mommy, but I confiscate it after that, and try to emphasize fun fall activities instead.  If it’s a choice between having strung out, sick children for several weeks or having healthy happy ones, there’s no question for me.

For my allergic child, I purchase some of the (very, very few) candies available without corn syrup or dairy ingredients, and make other special treats…peanut butter balls, old fashioned fudge with coconut oil and rice milk instead of butter and milk, homemade cookies made from simple, pure, safe ingredients.  To tell you the truth, it’s kind of a nice excuse to have to whip up something yummy in the kitchen.

This time of year I especially love spicy and apple desserts.  I’ve been craving a chocolate cake too.

What do you like to make and eat during autumn?  How do you handle the overabundance of unhealthy food?

Grateful

October 26, 2009

girl autumn leaves

I’m joining Multitude Mondays, a “gratitude community” at Holy Experience.  The long and short of it: to journal what we’re grateful for.  I can personally attest to the power of thankfulness.  During one of the darkest times in my life, I kept a small notebook by my bed and forced myself to write 5 things I was thankful for at the end of each day.  It kept me focused on God’s goodness at a point when it would have been very easy to see only the pain.

It’s a sunshiney season of life, but even so, I’m beginning that habit again.

1. Crisp autumn weather.  In a climate that’s warm 9 months out of the year, I treasure every cool day that comes.

2. Vintage illustrations.  As anyone who reads here knows, I have a thing for illustrations from the 1920′s through the 1950′s.  Those images bring me so much joy!

3.  Baking.  It’s that time of year!

4.  Cleaning day.  I look forward to an orderly home by the time my sweet husband finishes his work.

5.  Children who love each other.  Sure, they fight sometimes.  But I can hear the voices of my older ones playing together right now, and this morning my heart overflowed when I saw my youngest run to give the oldest a good-morning hug.


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