Saturday, June 27, 2009

Room Re-Do

Posted by Mandy at 9:49 AM 3 comments Links to this post
This morning I got an insane urge to reorganize Madison's room. Her room has been EXACTLY the same since we bought our house 4 years ago. She's been begging to change her room, so I figured we'd at least toss out a lot of trash and old toys and move some furniture around. Mid-way through getting EVERYTHING out to sort, I figured I should really document this with photos!

Now, I must say that Madison's room is typically very clean. She's great about keeping everything put in its place. This disaster was totally ME. You know.. sometimes you have to create a mega mess in order to clean up!

This is the kids' 'game place.' They sit here and eat, drag every video game out, and play during down time. I HATE this space. This is a second closet in her room and we didn't need it for closet space, so we kinda just left it. We figured one day we'd turn it into something cute. I'm ready for that day!

Here is the 'sort of' after shot. I put her bed in the closet nuk and plan to paint the walls back there soon. First, Madison and I are going to pick out new bedding for her bed, then we'll paint the closet to match.

The new game area is where her bed was. My plan is to pick out bedding, and find a complementary color to the pink already on her walls to paint just under the chair rail. So, leave the top part pink, but change the bottom color. We'll see what we can come up with. I'm thinking some shade of green (not green-green... but a variety there of) to go with the pink. I'm seeing pink and green put together everywhere lately and am growing fond of it! With it being so in style, shouldn't be hard to find bedding to match! The all pink is sort of babyish... so my daughter has lately explained to me..

You should see how much stuff I took out of this room! We have a ton of really cute stuffed animals (like the big My Little Pony stuffed ponies) and other great toys that she NEVER played with. If anyone would like to take a peek, you are free to take ANYTHING YOU WANT for free! You, of course, could always give a donation to our dog rescue if you wanted, but no obligation. You'd be helping me just by taking it! I also have a lot of little girl books (even a potty training book for girls) that I'm giving away. Gotta get rid of some of this stuff. It's amazing what one child can accumulate in 8yrs of life!
It's fun to start a new project! Gotta get up the nerve to settle on a paint color and get that done. I'm NOT good with changes like that so wish me luck!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Afternoon naps...

Posted by Mandy at 7:48 AM 4 comments Links to this post a toddler good.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Defense Attorneys

Posted by Mandy at 1:14 PM 1 comments Links to this post
This morning I watched a bit of a segment on the Today Show that featured a defense attorney for Casey Anthony - the woman accused of murdering her daughter Cailee Anthony. I only watched a small bit because I couldn't help but feel sick to my stomach over the whole ordeal. All of the evidence seems to point directly to that poor baby's mother killing her, and it's just too difficult to watch that stuff sometimes. Not to mention the sliminess of the person defending Casey.

Sometimes I wonder if the original point of defense attorneys has been lost in our Judicial System today. A defense attorney is there to make sure that you get a fair trial, that evidence is only allowed if it should be, that you have a fair shot at explaining your side. (guilty or not.)

Today, however, it seems that defense attorney's now believe it is there job to help criminals get dismissed from any wrong-doings they have done. They question law-enforcement officers in ways that are designed to trick juries, they batter and abuse children on the stand in front of their rapists and molesters in order to trip them up, they use tactics to try to make the case about anything other than the actual crime in question. Now, of course, not all defense attorneys are this way - I know that for sure, but isn't this accurate of what most of us have witnessed over the past several years?

I've seen, personally, criminals get off scott free from crimes they certainly committed due to defense attorney tactics. Where's the justice in that? How can they live with themselves knowing that they are putting drug dealers, drunk drivers, molesters, rapists, burglars, and killers right back onto the same streets in which you and I live?

Is this their job? What do you think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Most Dreaded House Chores

Posted by Mandy at 12:33 PM 4 comments Links to this post
a small portion of the yard I've never mowed

Typically, I greatly enjoy cleaning my house. I turn up some music, sing as though no one can hear me, and become just giddy knowing that soon I will sit back and look at my gleaming home. Ahh... nothing like getting project "clean house" accomplished.

There are tasks that I do without even thinking about them. They are constant jobs that I do each day and I neither love doing them nor dislike digging right in. You know the ones: dishes, laundry, cleaning the counters and floors... the things you just must do each day to keep things going.

Then, there are the handful of jobs that I put off, avoid, or simply refuse to do. We all have different jobs that make us feel this way - but they are there none-the-less. Here is my list.

Jobs I Put Off - will do them but put them off as long as possible

1. Dusting - what a project! Take everything off, clean it all, clean the shelves, put it all back. I could do four, more enjoyable, jobs in the same time this takes.

2. Cleaning the Bathtub - Back-breaking, Sciatic-Nerve-Aggravating, job! Love how it looks when finished but I put it off until I simply know I MUST do it.

3. Mopping - Necessary in this house once or twice a week.. but I just hate doing it. Love the smell of the house and the feel of the floor on my bare feet when it is finished, but do not enjoy this one in the least.

Jobs I Avoid - Jobs I pray Clayton will do before it becomes necessary for me to.

1. Cleaning the Microwave - Oh-My-Goodness. I have no idea why I hate this job so much... I just do. I think I have some weird fear that I'll end up getting zapped while using liquids in the microwave or something.. it just makes me uneasy. Not to mention the chili that my husband allowed to explode in there... why should I clean that mess, hu?

2. Organizing the Desk - Our desk is the catch-all of our house. One reason I avoid cleaning it is because Clayton has all kinds of super important State Police papers stacked a mile high on it. Another reason is because he also has papers dealing with other random things stacked a mile high on it. Simply put - it is much too overwhelming. Thankfully, Clayton cleans it if I ask him to or if it bothers him.

Jobs I Refuse to Do - not gonna do it - don't even ask.

1. Mow the Yard - Seriously? Ain't happening. That's a man's job if I ever saw one...

2. Clean Ceiling Fans - They're too high, I'm too short... again, man's work.

3. Take the Trash Out - **see reason #1**

I think that's about it. I typically take care of all of the inside work (minus cleaning ceiling fans and microwaves) and Clayton takes care of outside work. (including anything that is inside but ends up outside, such as the trash.) Any other jobs, (laundry, dishes, cleaning floors and counters, and general CONSTANT clean-up) I'm all over them! I can clean up a spilled bowl of cereal one second and move right to figuring out how to remove gum from my living room carpet the next. I'm a mom.. that's what I do!

What are some of the weird jobs that you hate to do or refuse to do around your homestead?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Getting Out of Debt

Posted by Mandy at 12:59 PM 5 comments Links to this post
You cannot turn on the TV without hearing those four words today, can you? "Get Out of Debt!" Easier said than done, my friend!

Clayton and I have started on a long needed to be started journey called, "getting out of debt." Oh.. what fun! We have become Dave Ramsey psycho fans and are really excited about his "debt snowballing" plan. Simply put - you pay off your lowest balance of any debt you have first (be it credit card bills, car payment, medical bills, etc) and work your way up to the largest. In the process, you only pay the minimum payments on all other debt until you totally get rid of the cheapest balance.

So, we've been rolling quite well. We've managed to pay off three credit card bills in 2009 and are nicely kicking away at another. (why do we have so many? Bad choices a long time ago! Making up for it today, though!) We have finally gotten totally sick of giving credit card companies our money each month. When you really sit down and look at the checks you've written and exactly how much money you could be saving, investing, or giving INSTEAD of throwing them at never-ending credit card payments... well, it just becomes infuriating! So, we're determined to keep our money and do more Godly things with it in the future. Step one in doing that? Getting Out of Debt!

Paying off bills, in theory, is easy. You just do it. You buckle down, you don't do anything extra, you JUST pay off bills. No eating out, no vacations, no going and doing... just pay off that debt. As Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else so that you can live like no one else." Meaning, live like a poverty stricken person today so that you can live an amazing life later! Love that saying - hate applying it.

So far we've been doing pretty darn well. Some weeks we are super strict and get really excited about saving money - a few weeks later we're tired of saving money and decide to go out to eat or I decide to buy the kids all new summer shoes that, in honesty, they really don't "need." This is a balance I can live with, though.

We've decided to stay in our house, even though we could technically "afford" to move, in order to do what's right and pay off debt. That is so hard... some days I am totally content and feel amazingly blessed. The next day I'm annoyed that we only have one bathroom and I just want to be able to pee without someone banging on the door to "HURRY before I pee my pants!!" Today, thankfully, I am feeling very thankful that my house has a/c and floors and I'm not living in the Sudan Desert in a tent with dirt at my feet. It's all relative, isn't it?

One thing that really has me motivated lately to pay off debt is simply how much having debt hinders our ability to give what we'd like to. Dave Ramsey had a show and talked about his company's "profit sharing" lunches. They would pick a spot to eat, pray that God would send a needy Waiter to their table, and leave a $400 tip. They can give because they have no debt. They can give because they save money rather than buy all the things they want. I want to be that person. I want to be able to bless someone like that!

I used to only want money to have more money. To have more stuff and better stuff. To show the world, "Hey, look what we were able to buy!" Now.. I am so changed. I still love shopping, I still love going and doing, and my flesh cries for those things from time to time - and every now and then - I let myself do it. But, now, God is putting a burden on my heart to help those that need it. That he wants to be helped. That my family COULD help if only we were wiser with the money he has blessed us with. HIS MONEY. His money that we are simply here to manage. I refuse to be a poor manager of Christ's money anymore.

I may need to start a "money savers support group" in the next few months to make it through... any takers? ;) God is going to do amazing works if we just remain faithful to his plan.. I KNOW IT. He sure needs to help me stay faithful to it though, and stop temping me with all of the new summer fashions....

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