Hand-me-down clothes are simply the best. Being the youngest of seven children, with 16 nieces and nephews older than our children, we are blessed with a lot of hand-me-downs. These precious dresses were handed down to my brother and sister-in-law by friends of theirs from California! They are just the right sizes right now for Little One and Social Butterfly. It’s so fun for my older sisters and sisters-in-law to see photos of our kids wearing their children’s clothes. It brings back fond memories of when their children were little like ours. Remember when Gap Kids was THE place to buy kids clothes? I have some Gap denim shirts, turtle necks, and sweaters for my boys that my 27 year old nephew wore when he was just a little tyke. It goes without saying how grateful we are to be able to dress our kids in adorable clothes while saving ourselves some cash. Another bonus of being the youngest in the family!
A few weeks ago, while the kids were home for a snow day, and it was 12 degrees outside, I thought it would be the perfect time to strip four+ layers of paint from the molding on top of a knee wall AND the mantle. I mean why not, right? There were just so many layers of paint that the surfaces were sort of sticky and I could never get them clean. Another layer of semi-gloss would just put a bandage on the situation. Starting over is the only remedy.
There were so many layers of semi-gloss paint on this surround, that when I gently pulled off the Command Hooks I used to hang our Christmas stockings last year, the paint was either completely gone, or a giant bubble. The paint stripper worked well on the mantle itself, but the surround has so much “dental work” that I think I’m going to have to just hand sand it. Since I’m a crazy person who stays sane in the winter (and all year round, really) by doing house projects, I couldn’t be happier!
The Hubs installed this beautiful ceiling fan last spring. I absolutely love it and to say it’s an improvement on what was there before is the understatement of the century. We keep it on the lowest setting all year round because it helps circulate the air up to the second floor (there’s a half wall up there, sort of like a loft). I have a question: How is it possible for dust to collect on a fan that is in constant motion? The pretty fan you see pictured above was coated in half an inch of dust! I had to get out our giant ladder and climb to the top to reach the blades of the fan with a wet cloth just to get it clean. Where is Carson or Mrs. Hughes when you need them? I really could have used some Downton Abbey staff for this one. It was worth the work, though. And this time, I think I’ll keep up with the dust by using one of those dusters with the extended handle to clean the blades once a week.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Moving furniture around is a great way to freshen up your house. After putting away all of our Christmas decorations, I moved this white IKEA shelf thingy from our bedroom window to the living room and put it behind the couch. This single piece of furniture has now been used in three different rooms of our home, for three different purposes.
It’s the Hemnes Sofa Table and it’s still available at IKEA! I guess, based on the name, we’re finally using it for its proper use. The only trouble is, it’s up against a wall, so we aren’t able to utilize all the cubbies. This really isn’t a bad thing. Anything we stored on the shelves would be promptly thrown on the floor by the resident toddler.
When I look in the living room I feel so peaceful. It’s clean and uncluttered and there is plenty of room for dance parties, held at least once a day during the winter months.
You can see the half wall that leads upstairs in this photo. When we bought the house, The Hubs was very nervous about this, for obvious reasons. However, kids tend to adjust to these things, so we haven’t had a single problem. And hey! It’s easy to throw dirty sheets and towels down to the first floor on laundry day!
Last week, while The Hubs was out of town, the kids were home from school for a snow day and I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. So I created a schedule of events to keep things going. I tried to pretend that I was a homeschooler for the day and wrote down on our white board what I thought were great activities to keep the children from getting bored. Because when my children get bored, they fight. It surprised me that they loved it so much! Smarty Pants actually said, “We should do this every snow day, mom! In fact, I think this would be a great thing to do during the summer too!” There’s no denying, the two of us are cut from the same cloth! So when we had another snow day this past week, immediately the children started to ask, “Are you going to make us a schedule again?” Why, yes! Yes I am! This is what I came up with:
I assure you, the kids did not keep to the time slots and they only actually did about half of the suggested activities. We actually got some snow on our “snow day” so they were able to play outside, which was great. I love it when they get all their gear on and head out into the fresh air for some play time. I think I only heard them fight out there once! And by the way, yes. We do own an Atari game console. The Hubs’ best friend gave it to us as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, and the kids absolutely love it! We don’t have a Wii or XBox or any gaming system. Up until the Atari arrived on our doorstep, they’ve only every played video games at their friends’ houses. We do allow computer games on websites, etc., but that’s about it! I must say, I love hearing them talk about the Atari games. It brings back great memories from my childhood.
Paul Coakley is being laid to rest in Tennessee this weekend. I’m wearing my bright pink, thinking of all the friends who have traveled down there to give Paul the send-off of the century. Our family is praying for all of you as you say “good-bye” and “see you in eternity” to your brother Paul. I can only imagine the mix of emotions you all must be feeling. Sadness for your loss, and joy for heaven’s gain! #prayforann #livelikepaul