Monday, June 27, 2011

The Cedar Loft - Update #1

The Cedar Loft.  Calling it the pool house/garage apartment just didn't seem adequate.  We discussed names for it like The Cabana (sounded too tropical) and Timbertop Retreat and more, but in the end we agreed on The Cedar Loft.  Cedar Loft to go with our Cedar Haven.  :)

Every spare moment on the weekends, and some week nights, Jason has been steadily working on this project, with Colt and my daddy helping on the weekends.  So I thought, I'd share an update on the progress.

The covered porch is complete.  Yay!  It's so nice to sit under the fans perched high above the pool and watch the kids (if we're not in the pool or if there's no shady spot on the lower pool deck).  We still have some staining to do there, but for the most part, it is done!

Looking inside, you probably can't see the progress.  But it's there!  Well, maybe you can if I show you a couple of before pictures.

This end is becoming the kitchen, laundry room & bathroom.
And this end is the bedroom/living area.

The framing is done for the bathroom and laundry room.

The bathroom is tucked into the corner where one dormer window is located. 

The plumbing and electrical is in place now.  That's not anything pretty, but necessary.  :)

We've bought the tub/shower unit and it's in place, as well as the hot water heater.

The framing for the kitchen bar and countertop defines the small kitchen space.

Over here will be the open loft or studio style bedroom area.  It has closets on both sides tucked into the knee walls.

This area will be the small living room area.

Tucked behind here is storage space (for all our tubs of seasonal decor), and more.  To the front of that door, is room enough for a table and chairs.

This week, Jason is on vacation (a work-at-home vacation) and my Uncle Jesse is coming from Alabama for them to put in our a/c and heat unit (Uncle Jesse is a retired a/c and heating man). Joy helped Jason mix and lay the concrete pad for the outside a/c unit.

Hopefully at the end of the week, the insulation will go in also.  

Then comes the part where I will be helping more - the ceiling, walls, floor, painting, cabinets, countertops and then the really fun part.........decorating.  :)

It's coming together though.  It probably comes as no big surprise that the decor will be rustic/primitive/ country style. 

We're trying to do this as low budget as possible, searching out the most cost effective approach for each step.

Here's the plan:

The ceilings will be corrugated tin.  For the interior walls, we will be using exterior knotty barnside masonite siding (with cedar stain).

For the flooring, we decided to go with vinyl since it will be used as a pool house.  Although it probably wouldn't have been my first choice, it will hold up well to the water and we liked the price.  We found this rustic one at a local surplus warehouse.  I love the look of it with its wide planks and knotty holes!

A little closer view
Jason is going to build wooden countertops.  I was inspired by a couple of my bloggin' friends' homes and again, we liked the price of it.  That's alot of wood but guess what!  I get painted cabinets in here!  Yay!  We'll get contrast with the cabinets.  We're leaning toward using the distressed color of the TV cabinet in our bedroom.

Oh and here's the really ambitious part of the plan.....we'd like to have it all done by Labor Day.  Are you laughing?  My daddy did.  So we'll just have to see how far off we are!  :)

And there you have it......update #1.....and the plan.  I'll share again when we get a little further along.  Hopefully we'll have a productive week!

And I'll leave you with a snapshot I captured from the porch of The Cedar Loft yesterday evening.  I thought it was pretty with the sun going down.


Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed week!  :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Faithful Friday - My Testimony

Somewhere along the line, we've  gradually drifted away from Joy's Faithful Fridays.  I've really missed it too.  Joy actually jumped in last week in getting started again, doing much better than me.  She scheduled hers to post and it did.  However, I procrastinated intending on doing it Thursday night to post Friday morning, and wouldn't you know it?  We were hit with a storm that left us without electricity (thus no internet) until Saturday.  Therefore, no post last week. So Friday's here again, and half the day is gone, but I'm going to go ahead and share this week anyway!  I thought what better place to begin than at the beginning.....sharing the beginning of my Christian personal testimony. 

My testimony is really very simple.  As a matter of fact, when asked to share it before, I've even struggled with the thought that it was really...well, almost....boring.  I mean there are people with interesting being delivered from a life of drugs or alcohol and coming to Christ, or living a really immoral life or "rough" life before finding the Lord, and so on.  I love to see and hear what God has done for people like that!  To me, those are interesting testimonies!  Mine sure didn't measure up to those on the interesting scale!

Some time ago, however, I really felt the quiet way God spoke to my heart saying, "You're not giving Me enough credit here."  What He showed me was that while I didn't think it was that interesting or that great of a testimony, in the sense of bringing me out of something terrible or huge, with a list of things I've done or low places I've been, God has spared me those things and kept me.  Because of Him, and coming to know Him at an early age, God has guided my steps.  

Wow!  I hadn't thought of it that way until that moment.  And I know God showed me that.   He also made me realize that my testimony is special, because it's mine; it's what He did for me.  While some people may benefit from the kind of "interesting" testimonies that I spoke of, there are others who will benefit from a testimony such as mine.  Who am I to decide that?  All God requires from me is to share what He's done for me, and he'll take care of the rest.  I was not giving God the credit due Him!

I became a Christian at the age of ten.  And also let me plug in right here to say that I had a great childhood and wonderful parents, so no rough life before this at all.  About this time in my life though, I had been listening intently in Sunday School and in church services, especially for a few weeks, feeling convicted with God impressing His Word upon my heart, and knowing I needed the Lord; that I wanted Him in my life.  I remember thinking on it alot during those two weeks and wanting to make sure that I knew, without a doubt, that I would have a home in heaven.  I was especially convicted after watching a movie, "A Thief in the Night".  It was a movie about Jesus coming back and some folks were ready for Him and some weren't.   I remember playing the piano and reflecting on that movie and I knew that I wasn't a Christian.  I can still remember the song I was playing when I decided that I wasn't wasting anymore time.  I knew I felt that tugging from the Lord, and I was going to do something about it!  So just a few days later, that following Sunday (I didn't realize then that I could just have prayed right then and there), I could hardly wait for the invitational song to begin, Just As I Am.  I think I almost ran down that aisle to the front.  I especially remember besides just asking the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart, I prayed, "Lord I want you to plan my life."  And he has.  God has guided my path from the young age of ten (childhood years), through the teenage years (those years notoriously noted for being rebellious), into married life (putting Jason and me together), and into and throughout family life (blessing us with our children in three very different ways).  He has spared me alot and kept me.  And I want it to be known, that I am who I am, not because of anything I've done, but because I asked Christ into my life and He has guided my paths. 

One of my very favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."  

To God be the glory!


If you would like to share your faith, whether it be an answered prayer, your testimony, something God has done for you or showed you, a prayer request, or just anything concerning your Christian walk, we'd love for you to jump in!  We are going to try to do this every Friday.  We can be an encouragement to each other.  Joy's post from last week's Faithful Friday is still up, which is her testimony, by the way.  Click here and let her know in a comment (we haven't figured out the linky thing yet), so we can come over and read yours as well!  And don't forget to grab the Faithful Fridays with Joy button.


Another thing.....I've tried several times to leave comments for my blogging friends and some of your blogs just won't let me......Carmen, Tanya....and more....those names come to mind!  If your blog is not set up for anonymous and it has the comments set up on the same page as the post, it won't let me leave a comment through google at all.  I wanted you to know that I'm reading your posts, but can't comment!  So sorry!  I'm not sure what's going on with blogger! 


Thank you for stopping by!  I am always excited and encouraged by your comments.  God bless you!  :)   

Monday, June 20, 2011

One Year Forever Family Day Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year ago today since Luke walked through the revolving doors of the Holiday Inn in Hohhot, China, on Father's Day, June 20, 2010, and into our lives forever.

June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010

We've watched him blossom before our very eyes this past year.  In some ways, it feels like we were just in China, but yet it feels like Luke has always been with us.  It's amazing how God does that - gives us such a perfect fit of a little boy for our family!  From the very beginning, it has felt natural - just like he belongs with us.  I'm sad for the time we missed, but joyful for the time we have!

April 2011

Luke has become such a little man - taking himself to the bathroom and proclaiming "Luke-ah do it myself" or putting on his own flip flops.  He can handle himself at the table and his eating utensils like nobody's business.  He's never used a high chair or booster seat from day one.  Never needed one and never wanted one.

Easter 2011
He now plays in rooms away from us, instead of having to bring his toys from room to room, wherever we are.  He is much more secure and confident.  We're still working on getting him to stay in a church class without Joy or me.  When we teach in children's church once a month, he stays with us.  Otherwise, he sits in big church with us.  If he ever goes to the toddler/preschool class, Joy is working in there.  He is still Joy's shadow and I don't see that changing for quite a long time.  That bond from the beginning between those two is strong indeed.  

May 2011 

The only Chinese he ever uses now is calling Colt gu gu (guh-guh), which is big brother in Chinese.  To Joy's dismay, he rarely calls her jie jie's Jo-eh, which by the way seems to be a million times a day.  I'm sure she would be rich if she had just a penny for each time he calls her name.  He occasionally says "bo bo" which is his Chinese form of hold me.  Most of the time now, he says, "Hold me Pah-nease" (please).  Jason calls him our little English major.  He talks "up a storm", constantly, and likes to use impressive vocabulary with authority, like "It doesn't make sense", "Well, not really", or "Are you sure", "Are you kiddin' me", or "Well, I don't know bout that". 

June 2011

He's grown alot in a year!  It's obvious by looking at him that he still loves to eat and is not picky!  He is now very close to 41" tall and weighs 47 lbs!  He is solid and all boy.  I call him a chunk.  The doctor called him "a tank".  

Can you tell he likes to cock that head and smile when we grab a camera?

Things Luke loves.....

- Hanging out with his Jo-eh (Joy)
- Cutting up with his gu gu (guh-guh - Colt)
- Mama's lap
- Daddy playing with him
- 18 wheelers - Watching them on the interstate, playing with toy ones, watching DVDs about them and talking about them (alot).  Says he wants to drive one.
- Repeating movie lines (thanks to his brother and sister) - especially some from Nacho Libre.
- Going to Lowe's and pretending he's going to Lowe's.  (loading and unloading).
- Trains - We have to pretend we are one of his coaches "coupled up" (so he says) and get off at different stations.
- Being outside (playing in sandbox, swimming, riding his little bike)
- Eating 
- Bossing the cat (Bambi) - she's VERY patient with him.
- Singing - constantly.  He stays on tune well, too.
- Watching Bob the Builder, Barney, & Caillou
- Eating other people's food
- Being read to
- "Reading" books (memorizes them)
- Helping Daddy or Pop outside
- Praying 
- Taking medicine (beats all I've ever seen)
- Talking....talking....talking.
- Eating yogurt with Grandmama
- Ice cream
- Music (pretends to play guitar and drums)
- Riding in the car (does very well in his car seat)
- Sweet iced tea
- Older kids

Summer 2011

Things Luke doesn't like.......

- Tags on clothes - Almost to the point of a phobia.  This is to the point that he cries when its time to get dressed.  We cut out alot of tags!
- Bugs (he calls them all spiders - so we never know when he's spotted a spider for real).
- Socializing with other kids - Prefers his small circle of family.  We're working on this.  I'm sure it stems from what he's been through.
- His stroller (I just sold it as a matter of fact -  he didn't want any part of it).  He's a big boy that either walks or rides in the shopping cart.
- To wait.  Let's just say patience is something we're working on as well.
- Getting his hair cut
- Brushing his teeth (has beautiful white teeth but doesn't like to have them brushed)
- Snakes (but then who does?)
- Cheese
- Some spicy hot food
- Vacuum cleaner
- Dogs (afraid of them).  He wants them put in jail (We just figured out this weekend what he was saying there while in Alabama.....and he was referring to their kennels).
- Cleaning up his toys

3rd Birthday

He can count to 20 something (although he leaves out 16 or 17).  He can sing his ABCs, recognize quite a few letters, write a few of them, spell his name aloud, tell his family's first and last names, recite a couple of Bible verses, sing many songs (Barney and praise songs). We just discovered he does very well with puzzles.  He has an excellent memory.  He never forgets places we've been and gives us driving directions.  He recognizes our home tree, Max PJ (you can read about our home tree here).

Loves his 18-wheelers!

He is very affectionate.  He gives lots of hugs and kisses and tells us all daily - going through the entire family with "I love you Mama", "I love you daddy", " I love you Jo-eh", "I love you gu gu".  He loves his Grandmama, Pop, Paw-Paw and Amber too. 

Blowing kisses...
Luke is still very slow to wake up..... meaning don't really try to have much conversation with him for at least 15 minutes.   After that, he's a different child.  Same way with meeting him at first.  Give him a little bit of time and he'll go from unsociable to non-stop talking or entertaining.

Our little Emperor

He's been very healthy.  Thank the Lord.  As a matter of fact, we just had a check-up with the Spina Bifida Clinic/Neurosurgeon and he was amazed at just how healthy of a three year old he is.  We don't have another appointment with them for another year.  He gave us signs of any changes that would trigger bringing him in for early intervention.  We really have peace about his entire health.  We praise the Lord for this and give Him the glory.

Mr. Mischievous

Overall, it's been a different year with all of us adjusting to a new lifestyle and routine, but I wouldn't change anything about it.  We've been home alot more this year and that's been great for our family.  This was exactly what we all needed and the benefits for all of us are apparent.

I'm so thankful....we're so thankful.... for the blessing of Luke and just can't imagine life without him.  God is good!

Making a mini toolbox for daddy for Father's Day this weekend.
Our family is very grateful for your prayers in bringing Luke home and for his adjustment and for sharing this journey with us and celebrating.  Thank you!

And as always, thank you for sticking with me through my blogging and non-bloggin' moments, and for stopping by today!  Have a blessed day!  :) 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Time Last Year.....

This time last year......

We were on a plane to China!  

Father's Day last year was our Forever Family Day!  That is still so hard for me to believe! our lives have changed!

I'll be back with a post about this past year with I hope you'll come back! 

Have a great Thursday!  :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Her First "Official" Babysitting Job

Joy has faithfully been saving money toward a future mission trip.......very possibly to China.  But definitely a mission trip for our family in the future.  She's had several fundraising ideas and has already carried through with several of them.  One of my very favorites has been writing stories for folks that star their kids going on an adventure...these make great keepsakes!  This idea was sparked from her love of writing and the gift she gave her dad and Colt for Christmas.....a story.  Since we'd like to share more on that, that will be another post.

Back to the reason for this post.  Joy has had plenty of practice helping with kids since she was quite young in our homeschooling group, church, and of course with Luke.  But recently she had her first "official" babysitting job.

We first met Warren when he and his mom began attending our homeschool group.  I believe he was three then.  Joy was immediately drawn to Warren and he took a liking to her, too.  She's even been invited to his birthday parties.  Last Friday, Warren's mom called and asked if Joy would be interested in keeping Warren for 2-3 hours.  We had already decided that she would begin her babysitting ventures in our home, so I could be around to supervise and help if needed.

Last Friday, Joy had a great time babysitting Warren for three hours here in our home.  Warren is such a smart and polite little boy.....not to mention, he's as cute as can be!  

The day before he came out was his 7th birthday, so to honor his birthday, Joy treated him to an oreo ice cream dessert first thing when he arrived.

And me, being the mom-in-your-face-with-the-camera kind of mom I am, and this being a "first", I of course followed them around with camera in hand to take pics!  :)

Most of the time was spent outdoors playing in the water.

On the slip-n-slide....

Spraying each other with the water hose......(as you can see, Luke had to be everywhere Joy was...I mean how dare she leave him behind, right?).

Then they came in to cool off and play upstairs.....Twister and a Geography Game.  She remarked to me afterwards at how incredibly smart he is!

Joy enjoyed babysitting him.  All went well and Warren's mom asked if she would be interested again, which of course she most definitely is!

I can't believe my little girl is twelve and "officially" babysitting, but then again, I'm not that surprised because after all, she is excellent with Luke.  And, this is the girl that says she wants at least six kids and a prerequisite for her future husband is his desire to have lots of kids and his willingness to adopt.  :) 

This is a girl that adores little ones and I think that kids can just sense the genuine love she has for them. 


Also, just as a heads up to some of my bloggin' buddies, I've tried in the past few days to leave a comment on your blog, and blogger is acting very badly!  :)  It seems to be blogs that have security word verification.  It repeatedly asks me to sign in to do the word verification and then when I type it in, it goes right back to having me sign in.....over and over and over....and never leaves the comment.  A few of you that had the anonymous option on your blog, it allowed me to leave one that way.  Just thought I'd let you know that blogger is acting up, and you might want to consider removing word verification since that seems to be the problem.   Joy tried leaving some for me also, but it was doing the same thing for her!  Sigh!  I get very frustrated when something doesn't work like it should.....can you tell?  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

That's Our Boy!

Lowe's has become a well used word around here and a place we go.  Often. 

I've always loved the place because that's where my vision (or our vision) for a new room, a new piece of furniture, or new floor begins the journey to becoming reality.  :)

It's often even a place we end up at some point during our dates. 

Let's just say that we have LOTS of Lowe's receipts.   

Joy used to dread hearing that word.  The word Lowe's was enough for her to decide she was staying with Grandmama and Pop.  Over time though, she's become resigned to the fact that it's our way of life and she and Luke make the most of riding the blue carts in the most creative of ways.  She takes her notebook and pen for writing; and she even makes a few plans of her own while there from time to time. I would even say she may even like it a little now. 

I think Colt, the older he gets, is beginning to appreciate Lowe's.  I could very well see him going there alot in the next few years.....with plans of marriage in the not-so-far-away-future.

But our youngest has heard that word from his beginning of days in this world called the USA.  Luke loves Lowe's.  Absolutely loves going there.   He asks when we get ready to go somewhere (especially with dad), "we going to Lowe's daddy?"  

Here he is with his "truck" all loaded up headed home from Lowe's.  

When he gets home with his goods, of course he has to unload it all.  Just like daddy.

And of course, all that work calls for a snack. 

I think he's practicing...... so some day, he can build stuff for his mama!  :) 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Solved: The Mystery of the Missing Scotch Tape

This explains why we can either never find our scotch tape, or else when we's empty. 

Luke always wants "just wuuuunnn more piece, please".

Caught in the act here.... 

Who can resist such a request that nurtures creativity........especially coming from this face?  :) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Home.  It's my very favorite place to be.......provided my family is there.  It's our haven.  As a matter of fact, Cedar Haven is the nickname I affectionately gave our home.

Love my sign made by Kendra (At Home with K)! 

We've made some radical changes this past year in our home.  One of the biggest, one that's made a huge difference, is that we no longer travel 40 miles one way to dance three times a week.  It was Joy's choice, but definitely something I had been praying about.  We figured between actual dance and the drive time to and from there, we were spending 7 1/2 hours minimum a week (usually more though).  Joy had been feeling the stress of the hurried lifestyle with no time for anything else, and had been battling with what to do.  With the addition of our Luke this year, I think we all felt the need to slow down and enjoy life's simple moments more.  However, we did leave the final decision to Joy.  She confidently announced last September, after going a few times to dance, that she wanted more time at home, time with Luke, and time to try other things.  All this to say that now our outside activities this year have taken place during the day while dad is working (gymnastics, homeschool gym day and guitar lessons).  This has made a tremendous difference.

Simplifying our lives with less trips out of our home has made our home so much more content and peaceful.  It has improved the atmosphere - the entire "feel" of our home - since we've slowed down.  It especially changed the evening hours.  We were already accustomed to our days at home with homeschooling, but we were rushing late afternoon and early evenings to activities to the point that when we had an evening home, it was a huge treat.  Now it's more the normal to be home in the evening and the outside activity that occasionally arises is the exception.

Don't get me wrong.  We made it a point to do things together as a family before when we were rushing to activities (that's just was more effort....a because it was important, but now the small enjoyable things happen much more often naturally as a family because we're here at home more.  I know this has also helped tremendously with Luke's adjustment, attachment, and security this year also.  He's had a secure home routine, and I think that has made a huge difference. 

When I was younger, way before I was married and had children, I knew that a wife and mother was what I desired to be above all other things.  The career part waivered, but not the vision I had of being a wife and mother.  As a matter of fact, I would plan out in my mind how I would fit my career into my home life and it always had to include being home with my children (when the time came for us to have children).  Mothers on TV shows like June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver), Lucy (I Love Lucy), Caroline Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie), and Olivia Walton (The Waltons) were my role models.  I know I'm showing my age now.  :)  In real life, there was my very own mother, who was always at home with us.  I knew without a doubt that was the home life that felt right for me....even as a child and teenager.  Thankfully, I have a wise husband who has always supported that desire and shared the same ideas, beliefs, and values concerning our home and family.  (We discussed this many times before marriage because it was very important to me, as it was to him).

Being home in the late afternoons and evenings has allowed us to create a routine that I think will be remembered far above rushing to lessons or outside our home for activities.  Now when dad comes home from work, Joy and Luke rush out the door (usually barefoot) to greet him with a hug and kiss as he opens his car door, and then I'm waiting for him at the backdoor with a welcome home kiss.  Oh, we did those things to welcome dad before, but now it's different.  It's anticipated and slower paced, not hurried and on our way somewhere.  It's hard to explain, but it just feels different.

I've been enjoying reading the book, Organized Simplicity.

The author states something that I wholeheartedly agree with.  She is speaking of the time that mom serves as a taxi, carting kids from activity to activity - play dates, lessons (which by the way stretch the family finances too).  What happens to the things we enjoyed growing up?  Things like lazy days reading a book, playing outside....etc?  The author, Tsh Oxenreider, says, "I wonder what our children's memories will be when they reflect on their upbringing - an innocent time full of play and exploration, or the booster seat on the way to ballet practice?"  Ouch.  That's so true and made me ponder and reassured and reaffirmed to me that we were doing the right thing by slowing down and changing our priorities a bit, concerning activities.  I have great childhood memories that included playing outside alot, reading alot, eating homemade popsicles, riding my bike, and playing games.   I don't want my kids to miss out on the good stuff.  

With our afternoons and evenings home now, there's more time for better meals with sit down dinners as a routine and more homemade desserts (instead of saving those for when company is coming).  :)

I've enjoyed trying out new recipes and Joy is learning to cook and loves it.  I want her to remember us cooking and laughing together (and I'm sure she'll remember the messes Luke makes when he's "helping").  :)

Strawberry Cobbler

There's more time for evening bicycle rides.

Or 4 wheeler rides.

Time for playing in the sandbox.

or slip-n-slide.

And of course, the pool.

We've read more books aloud - books that inspire - and this all after school is "officially" over for the summer.  Books like these....

More time to gather together in our room and watch educational, inspiration or family movies or documentaries.  Two or three years ago, we gave up our cable TV and don't miss it at all - it's wonderful!

There's more time to get back on track with routine family devotions time.  There's more time to do as the Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:7 concerning teaching your children God's Word and ways - "Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up."  

Time for exercise.  Working out several times a week has been enjoyable and provides a time when we gather upstairs in the loft....Jason and I exercising, Luke playing with his trains, Joy exercising and then reading aloud to us (I love being read aloud to since I'm usually the one that does that).  We often do our devotion time at this point too.

Even simplifying our stuff.  The book I spoke of that I've been reading, Organized Simplicity, has opened my eyes to all the "stuff" that needs to go in our home as well.  I've cleaned, decluttered and organized our bedroom and bath closet and drawers so far.  If we hadn't worn it in a year, it went.  I'm still working on other rooms, but so far we've sold a few things, donated alot of things, and taken out many bags of throw aways.  It feels good!

Being home more has allowed a regular nap time (for Luke - not in the car on the road much at all)...and quiet time for Joy and me.  I love this too!

Home and family have always been right behind God and faith in Him, but it just feels more content now.  I think somewhere along the line, we (mostly me) had said yes to too many activities.  It's actually liberating to say no sometimes too!  I think everyone is happier in the long run the simpler we keep it and the more we stay home.  As a matter of fact, when we are away from home, Luke asks, "we going home now, Mama?" (or kome as he says).  

It has also allowed more time to work on our apartment/pool house or "Cedar Loft" as we dubbed it.  We're making progress there....Jason mostly.  The part where he'll need me out there working with him is getting close.  :)

Oh and not to mention with the price of gas, we're saving money because we try to coordinate trips to town to make the most of our time and money when we do go.

So with more time at home, I imagine you'd wonder why my last blog post is dated April 24th, right?  Well for that, I really have no excuse apart from the fact that other things have prioritized my time.....not anything huge, just simple things.  And sometimes my computer tends to be a time robber.  I'm trying to work on that.  Therefore to fight temptation, I have to press the off button.  However, I have missed it and am anxious to be back to bloggin' and am trying to work this into my simpler home life routine, as well as some crafting and decorating that's long overdue too.  I guess you could just say I needed a break to focus on other things, which also included finishing up our school year and winding down.  And honestly, for some reason, I didn't feel I had much to offer the blogging world.  Do you ever feel that way?  But I'm finding myself with ideas and thoughts flooding into my mind that I'm anxious to share with my blogging friends and I'm also just anxious to be back.  :)

So what about you?  What do you do to create a homey atmosphere....peaceful and content in your home?  What do you do to create a simpler home life?  Have you made changes that have led to a more "home and family friendly" lifestyle?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on making your home "a home" with time to enjoy the simple pleasures and creating a content and peaceful atmosphere.

I looked up the definition of home in my trusty 1828 American Dictionary of Language by Noah Webster - the original dictionary.  It says:

Home (n.) - a house, a close place, a place of rest.

I like that.... a place of rest.  That's how it should be.

Then I looked up the same word in the New Webster Dictionary (1993).  It says:

Home (n.) - one's own abode, the abode of one's family, residence.

I like the family part, but I think it was intended to be a place of relaxation and rest, for all the family, just as the 1828 dictionary implies. (I always prefer the old dictionary version). really is our haven and the center of family life......where the very best memories are made.  That's why it's my favorite place to be.  :)