Earlier this morning, with the warmth of the cookstove keeping the kitchen cozy, it seemed like a good idea to give Loyal his bath in the kitchen sink. He is growing so fast and I just adore his chubby little body! He’s like butter in my hand – so soft and gentle.
My husband and I have decided to transform a tiny extra room we have (on the main floor) into a school room with desks for the girls. As they are getting older and needing more quiet areas for studying, we thought this would be a good use of space. We were inspired by a visit to a friend’s house recently. They had a separate room set up with individual built in desks for their eight children to do their school work, keep their books organized, etc. It was just what I was needing for a mid-winter project inspiration!
So this afternoon, after the school books were closed, we set to spending 25 minutes to emptying out the back room, bit by bit. My husband asked me why I wanted to start this project of emptying out the room when the built -in desks are not even made yet, but I don’t think he realizes how long it takes to get things done with a baby and toddler… homeschooling and, well, life.
So the girls and I started today – I have this procedure where we only do small cleaning projects for about 1/2 hour to an hour as everyone gets a little distracted and frustrated if we spend too much time in the basement, cleaning off bookshelves, etc. So to ensure the children still have free time in the afternoon, I tell them we will put on a timer and set to work for a short period of time. After that timer goes off, everyone will receive a freshly baked cookie (or treat of the day) and the little ones are tucked into bed for rest. It is a good way to get things done in the winter months, when we are all cooped up inside (especially on a wintery, blizzard day like today), but ensure the task or chore does not snowball into a huge day-altering project!
[In just half an hour, we have 7 bags of items to toss to the local thrift store. Amazing how clutter can build up. I am always surprised at how much we collect when I feel as if we de-clutter monthly! Is this, perhaps, a large family problem, or perhaps just a problem in general?]
With the back room nearly cleaned out, I needed to make room in another area for the hutch that was storing fabric for sewing projects. I decided to try it out in the kitchen. We shall see if I like it or if it will feel too crowded – sometimes I change things around too often that the girls always ask me if another baby is on the way… I guess they know me well. 🙂
I love to re-arrange and make the home look fresh and pretty. Yesterday, we took down all the white lace curtains and washed them in hot soapy water. They were hung up by the afternoon, fresh and clean. The week before, we washed down all the kitchen walls which were very dirty from our wood cookstove. We also took down the lace curtains in the kitchen and washed and hung them, freshly cleaned. It did not take long with all of us working together and it was a good way to get warm during a very cold day that came our way (-30 degrees!). Those who were the coldest were the ones that climbed the ladder to wash the 10 foot walls – height rises, you know … they were soon warm enough to throw off their sweaters.
I always find myself encouraged after a room has been cleaned, freshly washed curtains are hung up and shelves are dusted. It makes such a difference! I love making a house a home – it is such a nice way to bless with minimal effort. Lighting a beautiful homemade candle can make a room smell lovely and cozy, as well. It’s a personal goal of mine to ensure dinner is cooking on the cookstove, as well, by lunch time – the house smells yummy and delicious, as we all await the lovely dinner hour. Tonight, we are having lamb chops, raised and butchered by our neighbour, (seasoned with olive oil with thyme, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary) and garlic mashed potatoes.
Last night, my husband brought home some roses that were being thrown out after a funeral – they are so lovely and give such cheer to winter kitchen. It would have been a shame to throw them in the trash – I am grateful for them! I love roses, but of course, they are so expensive to buy, especially in midwinter.
What are your favorite ways to bless your home?